Euro 2022 Guide: Everything to know about Group A

In this guide for Euro 2022, we have a look at the nations in Group A: England, Norway, Austria and Northern Ireland

UEFA Womens Euro 2022 – Group A Guide

In just a few days, Euro 2022 will start with England vs Austria. It will be an exciting tournament that will celebrate the beautiful game we love and promote women’s football all over the globe.

To be fully prepared for this tournament we have made a guide for you to get more familiar with all the teams. In this first guide, Group A is the star of the show.

Euro 2022 Group A: England

By Marisa Dambach

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The Lionesses are returning to the big stage as the hosts of Euro 2022. The last time England hosted the competition was back in 2005 when Germany won the title.

This will be the first major tournament for Sarina Wiegman as England coach, who took charge of the team in September 2021.

Her 23-player roster in Euro 2022 Group A features Chloe Kelly who returns after an ACL tear last season.

Wiegman decided to leave off veteran Steph Houghton and recently Ellen White was pulled from the squad after a positive COVID-19 result. Otherwise, the team is filled with young talent and some veteran players.

Team History

The Lionesses have not won a European title yet, but are strong contenders for this year. The team has won 11 of their last 13 matches, with only two losses coming against France and Canada.

Their largest win was against Latvia where they scored an historical 20 goals. Recently, the team beat defending Euro champions the Netherlands 5-1 in a friendly.

In Euro history, England’s highest finish was second place. They had two second-place finishes but never won the title. In the most recent tournament, England advanced to the semi-finals before they lost to the soon-to-be champions, the Netherlands.

The last time England was the host country of the Euros, they did not advance out of the group stage. They had two similar finishes in 2001 and 2013. With England set to host the tournament again, there is a promising chance for the Lionesses to advance out of the group stage.

Players to Watch

There are quite a few players on the squad who have performed well, whether it was for club or country in the past year.

Beth Mead has been on fire for England and had an outstanding domestic season as well. She recently broke the England record for most goals in a season, from August 1st to July 31st with 14 goals and counting. Her offensive presence will be a huge plus for the hosts.

Lauren Hemp is also a player to watch this tournament. At only 21 years of age, she’s already a big name with the team. She scored 10 goals for her club this season and has contributed to multiple goals for England as well.

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Opposition

England begin their Euro 2022 campaign on July 6th against Austria. The other teams they face in the group stage are Norway and Northern Ireland for their chance at their first-ever Euros title.

Euro 2022 Group A: Norway

By Blaise Ogutu

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Team history

It has been 29 years since Norway lifted the Euros for the second time. When Birthe Hegstad broke the deadlock with five minutes remaining against Italy.

Norway went on to win the World Cup two years later in 1995 but that Euros win would be the last time the Grasshopper held the championship trophy aloft.

Norway have featured in the finals of the Euros on six separate occasions, the second-most of any nation. Only Germany better this by having eight appearances in the final.

The feeling of loss at the final hurdle is all too familiar for the Norwegian side. They have won only twice out of the six final appearances. However, in recent years, Norwegian fans have seen some improvements in their beloved national team and can start to believe again.

Players to watch

Head coach Martin Sjogren was appointed at the end of 2016 and oversaw a very disappointing 2017 tournament. He has since gone on to build a close-knit team that had an improved 2019 World Cup and a flawless qualifying campaign for Euro 2022 Group A.

Guro Reiten

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The left-footed winger will be looking to carry her domestic season’s form into the tournament. A WSL champion with Chelsea, Reiten was instrumental in her 27 appearances in both the league and the Champions League. She capped off the season with 13 goal involvements across both competitions.

Caroline Graham Hansen

Two brilliant seasons with Barcelona have raised Graham Hansen’s profile and Sjogren will be looking to her for creativity.

In 32 appearances for Barcelona, Graham Hansen had 8 goals and 17 assists from the right-wing. Generally, a threat going forward in tandem with Reiten on the opposite flank.

Ada Hegerberg

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Norway’s prized asset, Ada Hegerberg makes a comeback to the national team after missing action for almost five years.

Following a comeback season of her own, Hegerberg was instrumental in helping Lyon to a Champions League and D1 Féminine double.

Sjogren will be looking to her to extend her proficiency in front of goal after having 23 goals and assists in 27 Lyon appearances.

Opposition

Norway find themselves in Group A with favourites and hosts England, Austria and Northern Ireland. They kick off the campaign against Northern Ireland in Southampton looking to emulate the 1995 team and take the mantle from German hands.

Euro 2022 Group A: Austria

By Thea Hammarqvist

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On Wednesday the 6th of July, the opening game of Euro 2022 will take place between England and Austria at the historic Old Trafford. The latter of the two countries will be the focus of this article. 

Team history

Austria failed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in France. However, after finishing as runners-up in Group G, they are now entering Euro 2022 with hopes of surprising the opposition and making it far in the competition. 

After scoring a total of 22 goals in their games against Serbia, North Macedonia, and Kazakhstan, they are for sure going to be a threat offensively. 

Their best result as a national team is reaching the semifinals at the Women’s Euros in 2017. Now, with Irene Furhmann as their first female manager — could they cause an upset against the best teams in Europe? 

Players to watch

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Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zingsberger is without a doubt going to be incredibly important for Austria. Being one of the best goalkeepers in the Women’s Super League equal to her having a big responsibility defensively.  

Another acclaimed player is Frauen-Bundesliga winner Sarah Zadrazil. She plays as a midfielder and she’s someone that always turns up at big games. Sometimes by providing clever passes or top-class goals. 

However, Zadrazil was not the one known for producing goals during the Euros qualifiers. Her name, on the other hand, is Nicole Billa and she plays for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. She was Austria’s top scorer with seven goals and her nation will put faith in her scoring goals in the tournament. 

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Opposition

Historically, Austria has been a tough team to win against. Back in November, England won narrowly in their last meeting. They won the World Cup qualifying game 1-0, thanks to an Ellen White goal. The Lionesses have found it hard to break down the Austrians, as the other teams probably will as well.  

Additionally, Austria played Northern Ireland in qualifiers for the World Cup. In the first game, they drew 2-2 but won the most recent game 3-1. Goals from Carina Wenninger, Nicole Billa and Barbara Dunst sealed the three points in April. 

Lastly, Norway has always been a hard opponent for the Austrians. yet, when they last played against each other in 2016 the final result was 2-2. What will it be this time around? Only time will tell.

Nevertheless, it’ll be exciting to follow the Austrian national team during this year’s Euros.

Euro 2022 Group A: Northern Ireland

By Megan Wilson

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Kenny Shiels took over management of Northern Ireland’s women’s team in 2019, leading the team to what he proudly dubbed the “UK’s greatest sporting achievement”: their first-ever Euro qualification.

The Green and White Army are almost all non-professional players and feature two youngsters yet to be capped for their country. They are certainly underdogs in their group, facing giants of the WSL, D1 Féminine, and Primera División within Group A. Nevertheless, Northern Ireland’s tenacity and determination, spurred by their historic qualification, will make them an exciting new team to watch in this tournament.

This year Shiels came under fire for saying that “women are more emotional than men” in his assessment of the team’s 5-0 loss against England in their recent World Cup qualifier. However, his later apology was supported by players, and Shiels maintains his dedication to helping Northern Ireland break new ground in international women’s football.

Players to watch

Forward Simone Magill became the first Northern Irish woman to play professionally when she signed a full-time contract with Everton in 2017. She captained the U17 and U19 sides in her youth and made her senior debut at only 15 years old.

Magill is also a world record holder — she scored the fastest goal in international women’s football after 11 seconds, in a 2016 Euro qualification match against Georgia.

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Rachel Furness was Northern Ireland’s leading goal scorer in their Euro qualifying campaign. She opened the scoring in the first leg of the final against Ukraine but was forced off with a broken ankle and had to watch her team make history from the sidelines.

Furness also scored a hat-trick in the 11-0 defeat of North Macedonia in 2021, Northern Ireland’s biggest ever win. The 34-year-old previously played for Tottenham Hotspur in the WSL and will return to the top flight with newly-promoted Liverpool for the 2022/23 season.

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Julie Nelson, the squad’s first centurion, will bring a wealth of wisdom and experience to Shiels’ side in their first major tournament. She made her international debut in 2004 and is a women’s football ambassador with the Irish FA. Nelson reflected on the positives of being a largely amateur side, feeling that players from the local Irish league have “a no-fear attitude.”

Defender Rebecca Holloway was signed by NWSL side Racing Louisville in 2022. Holloway spoke candidly about her decision to step down from international duty in 2019, giving herself some much-needed time to prioritise her mental wellbeing.

At 23, Holloway admitted it was “daunting” leaving college in the US and going straight into professional club football with Birmingham City, while also travelling to national team camps. Furness finally made her senior debut in the qualifying play-off against Ukraine and will be raring to go for the tournament action this summer.

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