England will face Northern Ireland from Wegman in the Chilean Championship in the group stage of Euro 2022

Sarina Wegmann believes the Lionesses should not be afraid to take on elite European teams at the European Women’s Championship in July next year.

England will face World Cup qualifiers Northern Ireland, two-time European champions Austria and Norway in the group stage of the tournament.

England and Northern will play each other in the group stages of the 2022 European Women's Championship


England and Northern will play each other in the group stages of the 2022 European Women’s Championshipcredit: rex
Sarina Wegman wants England to be in


Sarina Wegman wants England to be at ‘highest level’ at the start of the tournamentcredit: Getty

The host nation of the competition will face Austria, who reached the semi-finals of 2017, in their first match in Group A at Old Trafford, the opening match of the competition on July 6, 2022.

“If you want to do really well in the tournament, you shouldn’t think about avoiding competitors,” the England boss told reporters.

“You only have to do it when each opponent comes

“We want to perform as high as possible and then we can only see the result when it’s an even match.

“Whatever comes our way, we just have to be well prepared, make the most of it and get to the top of what we can be and that’s what we need to do, and then we’ll see what the outcome is.”

Kenny Shils, whose Northern Ireland side have reached the competition for the first time in their history, admitted that his team’s group matches will be “difficult”.

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His team lost 4-0 to the Lionesses in the World Cup qualifiers at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, and lost to Norway 6-0 in the European qualifying stages.

However, the team came close to defeating Austria in their second World Cup qualifier this month at Seaview Stadium, home to the Crusaders football team.

Stephanie’s late goal ended the game at Seaview 2-2 after Demi Vance’s long-range brawl gave Northern Ireland a 2-1 lead.

Schills believes there are more difficult groups in the early stages of the euro with some dubbing Group B – which includes Germany, Spain, Denmark and Finland – as the group of death in the competition.

The Northern Ireland President said: “England rejoiced when our name came out (from the bowl), it was fantastic. I can’t believe how karma would do this.

“We played two of them in the last five days of the draw week. It’s ridiculous and we played for Norway (twice in the Euro 2022 qualifiers).”

To be honest, there are more difficult combinations. I think Germany will be the team you want to avoid the most because it is difficult to do your homework in Germany.

Kenny Shils says that while Northern Ireland opponents are in the group


Kenny Shils says that while Northern Ireland’s opponents in Group A are strong, there are even tougher groups in the eurozone.

“I think those three (England, Norway and Austria) will be really strong contenders, but we have to single them out and look at Norway.

“Before Norway, we have North Macedonia (in the World Cup qualifiers) and then we have Austria and England in the World Cup (the qualifiers).

“These are important matches that are high in my head and then we start looking at Norway in July.”

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England Women’s Manager, Sarina Wegman, had her first training session with the lionesses

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