Euro 2022 LIVE: England vs Austria build-up and early team news and as Lionesses prepare for opener

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Euro 2022 LIVE: England vs Austria build-up and early team news and as Lionesses prepare for opener
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Follow all the latest build-up and early team news ahead of Euro 2022 finally getting underway this evening when England take on Austria at Old Trafford.

The Lionesses are hoping three points will lay down an early marker in Group A, which features Norway and Northern Ireland as well as tonight’s opponents.

Austria are ranked 21st in Fifa’s world rankings and come into the fixture in good form after an impressive 1-0 victory over Belgium in their final warm-up match last week.

There is legitimate belief that England could finally win their first-ever major women’s football tournament this summer, especially with home advantage. Sarina Wiegman’s side won all three of their warm-up games and enter the tournament as second-favourites behind Spain. However, Spain suffered a serious blow on the eve of Euro 2022 with news that their talismanic Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas suffered a knee injury.

Follow all the build-up to the Euro 2022 opener with our live blog below:

Euro 2022 build-up

  • Euro 2022 gets underway in England on Wednesday evening

  • Hosts England kick things off by facing Austria at Old Trafford at 8pm

  • Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas ruled out of Euro 2022 with injury on tournament eve

England 0-0 Austria

20:08 , Michael Jones

6 mins: Austria win a corner but fail to capitalise on it and England transition swiftly into a counter attack with Beth Mead driving forward down the inside right channel.

She works the ball over to Lauren Hemp whose first touch lets her down allowing Carina Wenninger to get across and clear the Austrian lines.

England 0-0 Austria

20:05 , Michael Jones

3 mins: Rachel Daly feeds the ball down the left wing and picks out Lauren Hemp. The England winger darts inside using her pace to drive forward before she’s brought down.

England win the first free kick of the match.

Hemp swings it into the box but her cross sails over Ellen White and doesn’t reach Lucy Bronze at the back post as Manuela Zinsberger trots off her line to claim it.

Kick off: England 0-0 Austria

20:02 , Michael Jones

Perhaps the biggest surprise for England is that Leah Williamson starts in defence after playing each of the warm-up games in midfield. She’s played there before and slotting in at centre-back allows more attacking options in midfield for the Lionesses.

Both teams take the knee before Austria get the match started.

England vs Austria

19:57 , Michael Jones

Here come the players! Leah Williamson is at the front of the pack for England. She’s been given the task of leading them through the tournament. Will she get her hands on the trophy at the end of it? We can hope.

The national anthems come next. First Austria’s, then England’s.

The first match of Euro 2022 is about to get underway.

England vs Austria

19:53 , Michael Jones

The Euros 2022 opening ceremony is starting on the Old Trafford pitch. Flags of all the participating nations are brought out. There’s smoke filling the air and music is blazing out of the loud speakers.

Old Trafford is sold out. The atmosphere is fantastic.

England vs Austria

19:51 , Michael Jones

This is the eighth meeting between England and Austria in all competitions, with the Lionesses winning all seven previous games, scoring 22 goals and conceding just once.

Austria are yet to score against England on English soil in four previous games against the Lionesses.

England have won their opening game at just three of their previous eight UEFA Women’s European Championship tournaments, although they did win 6-0 against Scotland in their first match at the 2017 edition.

England vs Austria team news

19:48 , Luke Baker

A reminder of the two teams this evening. Beth Mead getting the nod over Chloe Kelly out wide for England, while Rachel Daly is at left-back ahead of Alex Greenwood.

Skipper Leah Williamson will likely line up at centre-back alongside Millie Bright. She’s equally as comfortable in defensive midfield but impressed against Switzerland in the warm-up games at CB.

England XI: Earps, Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Daly, Stanway, Walsh, Mead, Kirby, Hemp, White

Austria XI: Zinsberger, Wienroither, Wenninger, Schnaderbeck, Hanshaw, Puntigam, Dunst, Zadrazil, Feiersinger, Naschenweng, Billa

England vs Austria

19:43 , Luke Baker

Both teams have completed their warm-ups and headed back to the dressing room - we’re about 15 minutes from kick-off at Old Trafford and the atmosphere is already rocking.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

England’s opportunity to showcase pedigree on home soil as Continent’s finest awaits

19:39 , Luke Baker

The last time England hosted the Women’s European Championship, only one part of England really saw any of it, writes Northern Football Correspondent Mark Critchley.

The eight-team tournament in 2005 was played entirely within the confines of the North West, stretching as far north as Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road but no further south than the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington. Germany ran out 3-1 winners against Norway at Ewood Park in front of a crowd of 21,105. England finished bottom of their group, by the way.

Seventeen years later, the next three-and-a-half weeks promise to demonstrate how much has changed since. It all begins in the North West once again – England host Austria at Old Trafford in tonight’s curtain-raiser – and although there is strangely no North East representation, the 10 venues stretch from Leigh down to Brighton, and the tournament will culminate in a Wembley final that has already sold all 87,200 tickets. More than 500,000 have been sold across all of the games.

That is not only a record but double the total sold for the last Euros in the Netherlands five years ago. The worldwide broadcast audience for the 2017 tournament hit 178 million but that too is set to be comfortably surpassed. Whereas Channel 4’s live coverage largely focused on the fate of the home nations then, every match will be available to watch across the BBC’s platforms now. This will be the biggest Euros yet, demonstrating the rapid pace of the game’s progress. And so, it is perhaps only right to stop and take a breath.

England’s opportunity to showcase pedigree on home soil as Euro 2022 awaits

England vs Austria

19:33 , Luke Baker

A quick peek inside the England dressing room. We’re less than 30 minutes from kick-off at Euro 2022 now.

England vs Austria

19:27 , Luke Baker

Old Trafford will be rocking this evening, with a capacity crowd expected - more than 70,000 people.

Can that home advantage inspire the Lionesses to a famous victory?

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (EPA)
(EPA)

England vs Austria

19:22 , Luke Baker

Some more pre-match Opta facts that will give Austria a bit of hope. They were very impressive in the last European Championships four years ago, to be fair.

- England have won their opening game at just three of their previous eight UEFA Women’s European Championship tournaments (D1 L4), although they did win 6-0 against Scotland in their first match at the 2017 edition.

- Austria have never lost a match at the Women’s European Championships, avoiding defeat in all five games in 2017 (W2 D3), although they were eliminated on penalties in that year’s semi-final against Denmark after a goalless draw.

- At the 2017 Euros, Austria conceded the fewest goals of any nation (one) and kept the joint most clean sheets (four, level with the Netherlands). They’ve kept a clean sheet in 80% of their games (4/5), the best ratio of any nation in the history of the tournament. England, meanwhile, have only kept five clean sheets in 28 matches (18%).

- Austria didn’t fall behind for a single minute in their 2017 Women’s Euros campaign, the only nation to not trail for a single minute at that edition of the tournament. They were the first nation to go through a tournament without falling behind since Germany in 2005 and the first to do so in a tournament without winning the trophy (eliminated on penalties).

- Austria goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger saved 21 of the 22 shots on target she faced at the 2017 Euros (95.5%), the second-best save percentage at the tournament behind only England’s Karen Bardsley (100%, saved all six shots on target faced).

England vs Austria

19:16 , Luke Baker

Some pre-match facts for you this evening, courtesy of Opta. They make good reading for England fans...

- This is the eighth meeting between England and Austria in all competitions, with the Lionesses winning all seven previous games, scoring 22 goals and conceding just once.

- Austria are yet to score against England on English soil in four previous games against the Lionesses, with each game taking place at a different venue: 0-4 in April 2006 at the Priestfield Stadium, 0-3 in March 2010 at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, 0-3 in April 2017 at Stadium MK and 0-1 in November 2021 at the Stadium of Light.

- England manager Sarina Wiegman won the Euros in 2017 with the Netherlands, winning all six of their games that year. She’s the only manager to have a 100%-win ratio in the competition.

- England are hosting the Euros for the first time since 2005 when, despite winning their opening match 3-2 against Finland, they were eliminated at the group stage after losing against Denmark and Sweden in their next two group games, finishing bottom of the group.

- Since the group stage was introduced for the 1997 edition with Sweden and Norway joint hosts, the hosts of the Women’s EUROs have never lost their opening match of the tournament (W6 D1). Two of the four defeats by host nations at the group stage were suffered by England in the 2005 edition.

England team news

19:09 , Luke Baker

It’s an incredibly strong-looking England team that Sarina Wiegman has named. Will be interesting to see whether the Lionesses opt for a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 - the personnel selected give them the opportunity to do either.

In the former, Georgia Stanway, Kiera Walsh and Fran Kirby would be the midfield three but the latter would likely see Kirby push on as the pivot or No 10 in the 4-2-3-1 behind Ellen White.

Great options on the bench as well with Chloe Kelly equally impressive as Beth Mead in the warm-ups and Alessia Russo proving herself to be an able deputy to White.

Austria team news

18:57 , Luke Baker

Austria have named their side for this evening’s match as well.

Austria XI: Zinsberger, Wienroither, Wenninger, Schnaderbeck, Hanshaw, Puntigam, Dunst, Zadrazil, Feiersinger, Naschenweng, Billa

England team news

18:55 , Luke Baker

And here is the England team news

England XI: Earps, Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Daly, Stanway, Walsh, Mead, Kirby, Hemp, White

Subs: Greenwood, Carter, Hampton, Stokes, Scott, Parris, Kelly, England, Toone, Roebuck, Wubben-Moy, Russo

The Lionesses are ready

18:45 , Luke Baker

As we switch our attention more fully to tonight’s match, England are ready to make history on home turf. Team news should be along imminently.

Euro 2022 Players to Watch - Wendie Renard

18:36 , Luke Baker

Lyon’s win in May marked an eighth Champions League triumph for their skipper Renard, who also captains France.

One of the great centre-backs of her generation, the 31-year-old heads into the Euros with more than 130 international appearances to her name and an impressive record of 33 goals for Les Bleues.

Euro 2022 Players to Watch - Ada Hegerberg

18:29 , Luke Baker

Barca were beaten 3-1 in this year’s Champions League final by Lyon, with Hegerberg, the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner, key to the French side’s victory.

The 26-year-old forward scored one goal, extending her record tally in the competition to 59, and teed up another as she continued her comeback from injury that began in October after more than 18 months out.

Now her attention turns to the Euros, having returned to the Norway squad in March five years on from stepping away from the team, unhappy with the way women’s football was being run in the country. The Norwegians are in the same group as England and Northern Ireland.

Euro 2022 Players to Watch - Vivianne Miedema

18:22 , Luke Baker

Miedema was certainly one of the stars of the last Euros, netting four times in the knockout rounds, including twice in the final, as a Netherlands side managed by current England boss Sarina Wiegman claimed the trophy on home soil.

As well as being her country’s all-time top scorer, the Arsenal striker is also the WSL’s record holder with 74 goals. Fourteen of those came last season, after which she ended uncertainty about her future by signing a new contract with the Gunners.

Euro 2022 Players to Watch - Rachel Furness

18:16 , Luke Baker

The Liverpool midfielder is the most prominent figure in a Northern Ireland outfit making history as they embark upon the team’s major tournament debut.

Having helped them secure their Euros spot via a play-off triumph over Ukraine in April last year, Furness, 34, then became her country’s record scorer as her tally moved to 38 in a November win against North Macedonia, and was subsequently named BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year.

Her 2021-22 concluded with Liverpool having sealed promotion back to the Women’s Super League.

Euro 2022 Players to Watch - Lauren Hemp

18:10 , Luke Baker

Hosts England have a formidable attack and one of the players to have frequently shone within it is Manchester City winger Hemp.

The 21-year-old, who was part of Great Britain’s side at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, heads into her first major tournament with the Lionesses after a season in which she broke her duck for the team – in her 14th cap – when notching four times against Latvia last November, and registered 21 goals and 10 assists for City. S

he was named PFA young player of the year for a third successive season and fourth time in total.

Sir Geoff Hurst: Euros glory for Lionesses would be major boost for English game

18:01 , Luke Baker

The only man to fire England to a major trophy believes Euros success for the Lionesses this summer could have a huge impact on the development of the women’s game in the country.

It is 56 years since Sir Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick as England beat West Germany 4-2 at Wembley to lift the World Cup.

Since 1966, England’s men have failed to add to that success – with their penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in last year’s Euro 2020 final the closest they have come.

Now the women’s team have a chance to make an impact on home soil as they head into the Euros as one of the favourites.

Sarina Wiegman’s side approach the finals in fine form and will have the backing of the crowds as they look to win their first piece of major silverware.

Sir Geoff Hurst: Euros glory for Lionesses would be major boost for English game

England’s Beth Mead: Missing out on Olympics has made me a better player

17:52 , Luke Baker

Beth Mead admits she might not be the player she is now had it not been for the disappointment she suffered last summer when she missed out on the Olympics.

The England winger is heading into the home Euros – getting under way on Wednesday – in superb form, with a brace in the recent warm-up win over the Netherlands taking her to 14 Lionesses goals since the start of the 2021-22 season.

Her fine form across the campaign, also featuring 11 goals and eight assists in the Women’s Super League for Arsenal, came after she failed to make the cut for Great Britain’s squad for the Tokyo Olympics.

Mead has spoken previously about having “channelled the negative energy into positive energy from last summer”.

And ahead of England playing Austria at Old Trafford in the opening game of the Euros, the 27-year-old said: “Obviously it was disappointing last summer, but would I be the player I am today if that didn’t happen? Maybe not.”

England’s Beth Mead: Missing out on Olympics has made me a better player

England will benefit from huge home crowds which rivals won’t have experienced, says former No.1

17:42 , Luke Baker

England kick off their Women’s European Championship adventure in Manchester against Austria this evening, with former international goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis believing home advantage could play a crucial role.

Sarina Wiegman’s team will be hoping to go the distance and earn Wembley glory over the coming weeks.

And with over half a million tickets already sold for the tournament, they are set to play in packed stadiums the length of the country, which Brown-Finnis believes will be a new challenge for some players at Euro 2022.

England’s players, though, should revel in the support and harness the excitement it generates.

“The fact it’s on home turf, not only will it suit them, it will have an advantage because it will give them a little bit of extra motivation, a little bit of extra buzz about seeing 75,000 kids with their faces painted and [fans] wearing their shirts,” Brown-Finnis, who won 82 caps, told BoyleSports Euro 2022.

England will benefit from huge home crowds at Euro 2022, says former No.1

Northern Ireland must show ‘anything is possible’ at Euro 2022, Abbie Magee claims

17:31 , Luke Baker

Defender Abbie Magee says Northern Ireland must use their landmark appearance at Euro 2022 to inspire future generations by showing that “anything is possible”.

Kenny Shiels’ side take on former world champions Norway on Thursday evening in Southampton in what will be a first major tournament outing for the women’s team.

Northern Ireland are the competition’s lowest-ranked nation and face a considerable challenge to progress from a group which also contains Austria and hosts England.

Cliftonville player Magee is determined to seize the opportunity to make a lasting impression on young people in her homeland, including the travelling fans.

Northern Ireland must show ‘anything is possible’ at Euro 2022, Abbie Magee claims

England striker Ellen White to turn off social media for Euro 2022 for new campaign

17:22 , Luke Baker

Ellen White will again turn off her social media accounts this week ahead of the Women’s European Championship starting but is hopeful EE’s new campaign to tackle online sexism will help make a difference.

The 33-year-old is no stranger to ditching Twitter and Instagram before a major tournament having done the same for the Olympics last year and the 2019 World Cup.

White was among the best performers at both competitions, but it has not stopped her being on the end of abuse on social media.

It is a similar story for men and women footballers up and down the country, which is why EE has unveiled its Hope United 2022 side who tackle sexist hate online.

“The nature of playing football, you do obviously get those comments that aren’t the nicest to see or witness,” White told the PA news agency.

England striker Ellen White to turn off social media for Euro 2022 for new campaign

Austria not losing to England in Euro 2022 opener would be ‘sensation’, coach admits

17:14 , Luke Baker

Austria head coach Irene Fuhrmann knows only a flawless display will give her side any hope of pulling off a sensational victory over hosts England in the opening match of Euro 2022 at Old Trafford.

The Lionesses head into the tournament as favourites and will be cheered on by a partisan sell-out crowd on Wednesday night.

Fuhrmann is well aware of the challenge facing her squad in the first Group A fixture, but remains determined for England not to have it all their own way.

“On paper, anything but a win by England would not just be a surprise, but a sensation,” Fuhrmann said. “England are very robust, determined, have high offensive quality and are the top favourites for the European Championship title for me.

“But we are happy that we were given this fixture because it will be a unique experience. We want to draw as much energy as possible from this atmosphere.”

Austria not losing to England in Euro 2022 opener would be ‘sensation’, coach admits

England ready to harness ‘exciting moment’ as Lionesses go in search of Euro 2022 glory

17:03 , Luke Baker

England expects, as usual, but this time may have good reason to, writes Northern Football Correspondent Mark Critchley.

Sarina Wiegman’s side are one of several in the open field of favourites for the Women’s European Championship. But when the competition is this tight, home advantage could be critical. And until a potential Wembley final at the end of this month, that advantage will never be more keenly felt than in the curtain raiser against Austria, to be played in front of a capacity 74,120 crowd at Old Trafford.

Things should at least go better than the last time the tournament was on these shores in 2005. Hope Powell’s Lionesses won their opening group game on the other side of town at the City of Manchester Stadium but lost their remaining two and exited early. With crowds twice the size now set to turn out to watch, the excitement, hype and expectation is of an altogether greater magnitude 17 years later. English women’s football is in a much stronger place, as are England themselves.

England ready to harness ‘exciting moment’ as Lionesses search for Euro 2022 glory

Is England vs Austria on TV? Kick-off time and channel info for Euro 2022 opener

16:51 , Luke Baker

England will kick off their Euro 2022 campaign against Austria on Wednesday evening.

The Lionesses are hoping three points will lay down an early marker in Group A, which features Norway and Northern Ireland as well as tonight’s opponents.

Austria are ranked 21st in Fifa’s world rankings and come into the fixture in good form after an impressive 1-0 victory over Belgium in their final warm-up match last week.

Sarina Wiegman’s side won all three of their warm-up games and enter the tournament as second-favourites behind Spain.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Kick-off time and TV channel info for England vs Austria Euro 2022 opener

Latest odds for Euro 2022

16:42 , Luke Baker

So what do the bookmakers reckon about England’s chances against Austria this evening - and for Euro 2022 as a whole?

The Lionesses are unsurprisingly heavy favourites to defeat the 21st-ranked side in the world and are currently second favourites - behind Spain - for the tournament as a whole.

England all-time record women’s goalscorer Ellen White is also the favourite to win the Golden Boot, although there has to be value in Dutch superstar Vivianne Miedema as joint second favourite.

All odds available via Betfair at the time of publication

Betfair: England vs Austria

England: 1/7

Draw: 13/2

Austria: 18/1

Betfair: Women’s European Championship 2022 winner

Spain: 3/1

England: 4/1

France: 5/1

Netherlands: 5/1

Sweden: 6/1

Germany: 7/1

Norway: 16/1

Denmark: 33/1

Betfair: Women’s European Championship Golden Boot winner 2022

Ellen White (England): 4/1

Marie-Antoinette Katoto (France): 6/1

Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands): 6/1

Beth Mead (England): 9/1

Nikita Parris aims to use Euro 2022 to show ‘pathway’ for ‘representation’ open at elite level

16:34 , Luke Baker

Nikita Parris is determined to impress at Euro 2022 this summer, for more than just the obvious reasons.

Of course, with England one of the favourites, there will be huge expectation on the side’s biggest players to perform and secure glory on home soil.

But Parris, 28, also wants to show younger girls and women that they can achieve their dreams no matter their background or the challenges facing them.

The 65-cap attacker has spoken about a relative lack of representation of Black athletes within the Women’s Super League at present, despite clear strides made on that front compared to when she was a youngster herself. And that’s where she feels being on the big stage can play a meaningful role in helping to show the “pathway” remains available and open to those who want to follow her career trajectory.

Parris aims to use Euros to show ‘pathway’ for ‘representation’ open at elite level

England vs Austria: Five talking points as Euro 2022 gets underway

16:26 , Luke Baker

In the dug-out

Having reached the Euros final twice before, in 1984 and 2009, the Lionesses will be hoping to go one better this time under the guidance of Wiegman, who guided her native Netherlands to European Championship glory in 2017 and the World Cup final two years later. Under Wiegman, England are unbeaten in 14 matches, winning 12 and scoring 84 goals to just three conceded. Austria manager Irene Fuhrmann has been involved in the national set-up since retiring from playing in 2008, taking the top job in 2020. She is the first woman to hold the position.

England vs Austria: Five talking points as Euro 2022 gets underway

16:20 , Luke Baker

England firepower

The form of Ellen White up front will be key to Sarina Wiegman’s side’s hopes of progressing far in the tournament. The Lionesses’ record scorer with 50 goals had a disrupted build-up after contracting coronavirus but has recovered in time for Wednesday’s match and will be out to add to her international tally.

England vs Austria: Five talking points as Euro 2022 gets underway

16:14 , Luke Baker

Dark horses?

Austria made their debut at the 2017 Euros in the Netherlands and surprised many by reaching the semi-finals. But they will face a tough challenge to get out of their group which also features Norway this time round. Austria’s squad boasts Women’s Super League experience in the form of Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger and club-mate Laura Wienroither, as well as captain Viktoria Schnaderbeck, who left the Gunners this summer after spending the second half of last season on loan at Tottenham.

England vs Austria: Five talking points as Euro 2022 gets underway

16:06 , Luke Baker

Familiar foes

England played Austria in a World Cup qualifier last November, running out 1-0 winners thanks to an Ellen White goal at the Stadium of Light. The home side will be hoping to kickstart their tournament with another victory at a packed Old Trafford.

England vs Austria: Five talking points as Euro 2022 gets underway

15:59 , Luke Baker

England take on Austria in the first match of Euro 2022 at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Here the PA News Agency take a look at some of the talking points ahead of the Lionesses’ opening fixture:

Beginning with a bang

A capacity 74,120 crowd is expected on Wednesday, just over a year after the stadium hosted its first-ever women’s football match. It will be a flagship moment for the sport in England, as the 2005 edition of the tournament – the last to be held in the country – boasted a highest crowd of less than 30,000. Expectations of big crowds are high, with over 500,000 tickets sold, more than double the 2017 edition.

Opinion: As the Lionesses kick off the Euros today, there’s tons to celebrate in women’s football

15:48 , Luke Baker

51 years after the Football Association lifted its absurd ban on women playing football on FA grounds – between 1921 and 1971 – the game’s resurgence is well underway, writes Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the United Kingdom, Lucy Powell MP for our Voices section.

WSL and the England team draw in record crowds and sponsorships. The Women’s Euros and World Cup have finally been granted listed event status, and a welcome announcement from UEFA and the FA on prize money are slowly bringing some parity with the men’s game.

Women’s tennis, Formula 1 and sports across the board and going from strength to strength. Amid the excitement, this is a key moment to capitalise on the momentum behind women’s football, and ensure that young girls who are inspired to pick up a ball today can be the next Lionesses.

In the vacuum left by the government on school sports, there’s some great work going on to open opportunities for girls to access football in schools. But despite the push, they still trail well behind boys in participation. When girls are talented, there isn’t the same infrastructure of academies and scholarships to boost them into the top-flight.

Read the rest of Lucy Powell MP’s thoughts here:

Opinion: As Lionesses kick off Euros, there’s tons to celebrate in women’s football

It’s all about the squad: Rachel Yankey knows Sarina Wiegman has Euro 2022 options

15:36 , Luke Baker

Rachel Yankey has joked she would not want to be England boss Sarina Wiegman given the selection decisions she has to make heading into the home European Championship.

The Lionesses’ three warm-up matches ahead of the tournament, victories against Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland, saw substitutes and players that came in among starting line-up changes make significant contributions.

The opening fixture of their Euros campaign is on Wednesday when they face Austria at a sold-out Old Trafford.

And former England winger Yankey told the PA news agency: “I think the beauty of this England team is that it will be a squad. It’s all about the squad and I think the Switzerland game proved that, and pretty much all the warm-up games.

“I think it’s really hard to see who would be either starting or coming off (the bench) and making a big impact.”

It’s all about the squad: Yankey knows Wiegman has Euro 2022 options

England ‘really ready to go’ as Euro 2022 kicks off

15:27 , Luke Baker

Sarina Wiegman described England as “really ready to go” on the eve of the team kicking off their bid for home European Championship glory.

The Lionesses take on Austria at a sold-out Old Trafford on Wednesday in the opening match of this month’s showpiece.

Wiegman’s side have beaten Belgium 3-0 at Molineux, Holland - who she oversaw winning Euro 2017 on home soil - 5-1 at Elland Road, and Switzerland 4-0 in Zurich in warm-up matches in the past few weeks.

And the manager told a press conference on Tuesday: “We’re just really ready to go. The real preparations for the Euros started on 30 May and we just work from week to week, and from training match to training match.

“After the Switzerland game, we came back, had a little time off and then we started training to get ready for the match tomorrow. And you can feel that everyone’s really ready. We just want to go.”

England ‘really ready to go’ as Euro 2022 kicks off

England’s opportunity to showcase pedigree on home soil as Continent’s finest awaits

15:19 , Luke Baker

The last time England hosted the Women’s European Championship, only one part of England really saw any of it, writes Mark Critchley.

The eight-team tournament in 2005 was played entirely within the confines of the North West, stretching as far north as Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road but no further south than the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington. Germany ran out 3-1 winners against Norway at Ewood Park in front of a crowd of 21,105. England finished bottom of their group, by the way.

Seventeen years later, the next three-and-a-half weeks promise to demonstrate how much has changed since. It all begins in the North West once again – England host Austria at Old Trafford in tonight’s curtain-raiser – and although there is strangely no North East representation, the 10 venues stretch from Leigh down to Brighton, and the tournament will culminate in a Wembley final that has already sold all 87,200 tickets. More than 500,000 have been sold across all of the games.

That is not only a record but double the total sold for the last Euros in the Netherlands five years ago. The worldwide broadcast audience for the 2017 tournament hit 178 million but that too is set to be comfortably surpassed. Whereas Channel 4’s live coverage largely focused on the fate of the home nations then, every match will be available to watch across the BBC’s platforms now. This will be the biggest Euros yet, demonstrating the rapid pace of the game’s progress. And so, it is perhaps only right to stop and take a breath.

Full story:

England’s opportunity to showcase pedigree on home soil as Euro 2022 awaits

England urged to ‘thrive off any nerves’ ahead of Euro 2022 opener

15:11 , Luke Baker

Ella Toone is hoping England can ‘thrive off any nerves’ as they prepare to launch their Euro 2022 campaign.

The host nation open this summer’s long-awaited tournament when they take on Austria at a sell-out Old Trafford on Wednesday.

With England among the favourites for the title, there is plenty of excitement and nerves surrounding their involvement but Toone hopes to channel all that into positive energy.

“I think for me there’s a lot of excitement,” said the Manchester United striker. “I think all the girls are just excited to get going now.

“When we step out onto the pitch in front of that massive crowd there might be a few nerves but I always think, we play every single day, we do what we love – so thrive off the nerves if there are any but for me right now, I just can’t wait.”

England urged to ‘thrive off any nerves’ ahead of Euro 2022 opener

Euro 2022 fixtures: Full schedule and venues for England, Northern Ireland and more

15:02 , Luke Baker

Euro 2022 is finally underway after the tournament was postponed by a year due to the pandemic.

England have the chance to claim victory on home soil after falling short at the semi-final stage in the 2019 World Cup and the Lionesses remain unbeaten since head coach Sarina Wiegman took charge.

Spain are considered the slight favourites to clinch glory, while France and the Netherlands will also provide a major threat - although the Lionesses hammered the reigning European champions 5-1 in a warm-up match - while England must nullify Ada Hegerberg and avoid a slip-up against Norway in the group stage.

How can you watch the tournament - here’s the full TV schedule:

Euro 2022 fixtures: Full schedule and venues for England, Northern Ireland and more

Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas ruled out of Euro 2022 with injury

14:53 , Michael Jones

Spain have confirmed captain and Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas has suffered an ACL injury which will rule her out of Euro 2022.

The Barcelona midfielder, last season’s Champions League top goalscorer, was injured during a training session on Tuesday. La Roja later announced scans had confirmed a rupture of the ACL in her left knee.

A statement on the Spanish Football Federation website read: “Alexia Putellas suffers a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.

“The tests carried out on the Spanish international on the afternoon of this Tuesday July 5 2022 at King Edward VII’s hospital in London, have confirmed that the captain of the Spanish women’s national team has suffered a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.”

Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas ruled out of Euro 2022 with injury

Euro 2022 build-up

14:41 , Luke Baker

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of Euro 2022 - with all the build-up to England’s opener against Austria this evening.

The Lionesses are hoping three points will lay down an early marker in Group A, which features Norway and Northern Ireland as well as tonight’s opponents. Austria are ranked 21st in Fifa’s world rankings and come into the fixture in good form after an impressive 1-0 victory over Belgium in their final warm-up match last week.

There is legitimate belief that England could finally win their first-ever major women’s football tournament this summer, especially with home advantage. Sarina Wiegman’s side won all three of their warm-up games and enter the tournament as second-favourites behind Spain.

However, Spain suffered a serious blow on the eve of Euro 2022 with news that their talismanic Ballon d’Or winner Alexis Putellas suffered a knee injury.

Stick with us for all the build-up and early team news.

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