Hosts England (Outright 4/1) are among the teams taking part in Group A of this summer’s European Championships with Sarina Wiegman’s team looking to take advantage of their home status.
The Lionesses are looking to finally break their major tournament duck this summer and they will have a great chance to do so as they play in front of their own fans.
Alongside England in Group A are Norway, Austria, and Northern Ireland (Group A betting – England 2/5, Norway 9/4, Austria 12/1, Northern Ireland 66/1).
Who should progress?
England reached the semi-final of the World Cup in 2019 before agonisingly being beaten by the USA, so the hosts will be expected to get out of the group.
This current crop of players is perhaps the strongest the Lionesses have had. There is a great mix of youth and experience, even without former captain Steph Houghton.
Norway are likely to be the closest challengers to England in the group stage as they look to make it three wins in the competition. Norway have previously triumphed in the women’s Euros in 1987 and 1993.
Austria reached the semi-finals in 2017 and could spring something of a surprise again. Five years ago, they reached the last four and it was only on penalty kicks they saw their dream run come to an end.
Northern Ireland complete the group as they make their international tournament debut. Kenny Shiels’ side will have to perform very well to get through as their standing on the international stage is reflected by the fact they are 47th in FIFA’s world rankings, compared to England (8th), Norway (11th) and Austria (21st).
England are on a stunning run of form coming into the tournament, unbeaten in 13, winning 11 of those matches. Some of their recent results include a 2-0 win over Latvia, a 10-0 victory over North Macedonia, and a 5-1 friendly success over reigning European champions Netherlands, underlining just how good the hosts can be when at the top of their game.
Norway are also approaching the competition in great shape, winning their last five matches and eight of their last 10. Austria have won seven of their last 10, demonstrating how dangerous they might be, while Northern Ireland’s position as group minnows is reflected by the fact they’ve lost their last four games and only have three wins across their last 10 matches overall.
England: Ellen White is sure to provide goals up front for England, while she will be supported by Manchester City star Lauren Hemp, who at 21-years-old has already established herself as a key component of this England side. The likes of Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh provide class and quality.
Norway: Former Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg is undoubtedly Norway’s key player. She is back in the fold after a long-running dispute with the Norwegian FA over pay, and she will hope to drive them on after a very disappointing Euro 2017 where Norway exited in the group stage. The likes of Barcelona forward Caroline Graham Hansen, who has 43 international goals from 95 appearances is also one to watch.
Austria: Midfielder Sarah Puntigam is Austria’s most-capped woman with 120 appearances for her country, while she has registered 18 goals. Other players of note include experienced defender Carina Wenninger, and Tottenham star and skipper Viktoria Schnaderbeck.
Northern Ireland: Captain Marissa Callaghan is who Shiels will probably be pinning his hopes on, the midfielder, even at 36, is an integral player, while the vastly-experienced defender Ashley Hutton has made the squad after recovering from a serious knee injury and Everton forward Simone Magill will be relied on for goals up front.
July 7 – 20:00 – Norway v Northern Ireland, St Mary’s.
July 11 – 17:00 – Austria v Northern Ireland, St Mary’s.
July 11 – 20:00 – England v Norway, Amex Stadium.
July 15 – 20:00 – Northern Ireland v England, St Mary’s.
July 15 – 20:00 – Austria v Norway, Amex Stadium.