Women's Euros draw: England face Northern Ireland in group stage

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In a World Cup qualifier at Wembley, England defeated Northern Ireland 4-0 earlier in the month

The hosts of next year's Women’s Euros finals are England and Northern Ireland.

They will be facing each other in Round 3 of fixtures.

Kenny Shiels' Irish team are making their tournament debut, with England now under Sarina Wiegman's management.

The event will open at Old Trafford, England on 6 July. The final at Wembley is scheduled for 31 July.

Highlights of Thursday's draw at Manchester include eight-time winners Germany, the number three world-ranked side. They will be facing Spain in Group B and Sweden, which many consider the dark horse. The Netherlands holders are in the same group.

Group A England, Norway, Austria and Northern Ireland Group B Germany. Spain, Denmark. Finland Group C Netherlands. Sweden, Switzerland. Russia Group D France. Italy, Belgium. Iceland

England starts at Old Trafford. Then, they play Norway at Brighton and Hove Community Stadium on 11 July and Northern Ireland at St Mary's Stadium at Southampton (15 July).

BBC Sport's Lucy Bronze, England's defender, said that "it's going to exciting." "We played Scotland last time, and we also played Scotland in World Cup. Now we have Northern Ireland. It's almost like the stars were written.

"I believe the pressure is there, being home nation, but it's only the perception you have of it. It's easy to see it as if there will be more eyes on us, but at the same time, there are many more eyes supporting and helping us.

"So, we have the 12th person in our stadium supporting us. It is possible to argue that no other nation will have the same support system as us.

"We have developed a lot since I was involved. We reached the semi-finals at Euros and World Cups. This team has the experience to go a little further. We just need that push to get there.

Northern Ireland will play all three of its group games in Southampton. They start with Norway (7 Jul), Austria (11 Jul), and England (4-0) in a World Cup qualifier.

BBC Sport's Rachel Furness, a Liverpool and Northern Ireland midfielder, said that it was exciting. "We have the preparation, having just played England and Norway, so it's good.

It was like Christmas morning waking up. It's great for the country.

"We have high expectations of our camp for professionalism in the build-up. We lost 4-0 at Wembley but held our own for 65 minutes. Our small country has endless possibilities. Our girls work from 9-5 every day.

Finals were supposed to be played in this year's edition, but they were delayed for 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament will also use six other venues, including Brentford's Community Stadium and Manchester City's Academy Stadium.

England lost 3-0 to the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the 2017 Euros. The Netherlands then won the trophy under current Lionesses boss Wiegman. England has never advanced beyond the fourth round of the competition.

They finished fourth in 2019 at the World Cup in France, losing 2-1 to eventual champions the USA in the semifinals.

Under Wiegman, the Lionesses have had a remarkable start scoring 32 goals and conceding zero in four qualifying matches for the 2023 World Cup.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the finals will be played 12 months later than originally planned.

Uefa has already sold more than 160,000 tickets for the event, which Uefa hopes to be the most attended female sporting event in European history.