Pitchside Europe

The 2013 women’s European Championship – everything you need to know


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England will be looking to go one better after losing in the final to Germany four years ago when the 2013 women’s European Championships get underway on Wednesday.

Germany have racked up a string of five successive triumphs, amounting to an era of incredible dominance and it will be up to the other 11 teams in the tournament to end that run.

Injuries to a number of key players in the Germany squad could assist the likes of England as they look to arrest the Germans' period of control, with a battle to make the final on July 28 about to unfold.

The host nation is Sweden, who are fancied to be real contenders with home advantage, along with England, France and, of course, holders Germany.

We have compiled a list of questions and answers to help you to enjoy the tournament and understand how it will all play out.

What are the dates of the tournament?

July 10 until July 28.

Is there a group stage?

There is indeed. Three groups.

Group A: Sweden, Italy, Denmark, Finland

Group B: Germany, Norway, Netherlands, Iceland

Group C: France, England, Russia, Spain

Where will the matches be played?

The Euros will be held in seven cities spread across the southern region of Sweden: Gothenburg, Halmstad, Vaxjo, Kalmar, Norrkoping and Linkoping will all host group games, with the final being held in Solna.

And what is the venue for the final?

The final will take place at the Friends Arena – it has a capacity of 30,000. The venue was opened last November when Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four goals, including a stunning bicycle kick, against England.

Do England have a chance of success?

They were runners-up in 2009 and will be expecting to at least reach the last eight – the stage at which their World Cup campaign ended.

Who is England’s key player?

Undoubtedly striker Kelly Smith, who is regarded as a legend of the women’s game and is England’s all-time leading goalscorer. However, with Smith having sustained an injury, England will be looking for inspiration from many of the young rising stars within their ranks.

Which other teams are fancied?

Besides overwhelming favourites Germany, France are being tipped for success by many. They finished fourth at last year’s Olympics and the 2011 World Cup and have flourished into a formidable unit with almost half of the squad playing their club football for Lyon, who were the Champions League runners-up.

Who is playing when?

Here is a quick rundown of the group fixtures and dates, as well as dates for the quarters, semis and final. England's games and potential dates, should they progress, are in bold...

Group A—July 10: Italy vs. Finland, Sweden vs. Denmark; July 13: Italy vs. Denmark, Finland vs. Sweden; July 16: Sweden vs. Italy, Denmark vs. Finland

Group B—July 11: Norway vs. Iceland, Germany vs. Netherlands; July 14: Norway vs. Netherlands, Iceland vs. Germany; July 17: Germany vs. Norway, Netherlands vs. Iceland

Group CJuly 12: France vs. Russia, England vs. Spain; July 15: England vs. Russia, Spain vs. France; July 18: France vs. England, Russia vs. Spain

Quarter-finals—July 21: Group A winner vs. Group B/C Third Place (match 19), Group A Runner-up vs. Group B Runner-up (20); July 22: Group B winner vs. Group C Runner-up (21), Group C winner vs. Group A/B Third Place (22)

Semi-finals—July 24: Winners of match 19. vs Winner of match 20 (23); July 25: Winner of match 21 vs. Winner of match 22 (24)

Final—July 28: Winner of match 23 vs. Winner of match 24

And to the pre-tournament odds...

Germany: 11/8

France: 7/2

Sweden: 4/1

England: 10/1

Norway: 12/1

Netherlands: 20/1

Denmark: 20/1

Italy: 25/1

Spain: 25/1

Finland: 40/1

Russia: 66/1

Iceland: 66/1

(Source of odds: Ladbrokes)

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