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Need to know: Women's Euro 2017

The Women’s European Championships kick off this month.

Man City Women will have ten representatives in Holland.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the tournament…

European Blues

Mark Sampson’s England team contains seven City stars: Karen Bardsley, Steph Houghton, Lucy Bronze, Jill Scott, Demi Stokes, Izzy Christiansen and Nikita Parris.

The latter three will be making their major tournament debuts.

Danish new signing Mie Jans will also feature, while Kosovare Asllani and Jane Ross will represent Sweden and Scotland respectively.

Sadly, Scot Jen Beattie and Dutch midfielder Tessel Middag will miss out through injury.

Brief history

Officially named the UEFA European Women's Championship and also known as the Euros or the European Cup, the competition is held every fourth year.

In the early 1980s, as women's football grew in popularity, a tournament named the UEFA European Competition for Representative Women’s Teams was introduced. It was awarded European Championship status by UEFA around a decade later.

Unofficial women's European tournaments had been held in Italy in 1969 and 1979, with Italy and Denmark reigning supreme.

In 1982, the first UEFA 1984 European Competition for Women's Football qualification was launched. Sweden would go on to win the tournament.

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The 1991 and 1995 editions were used as European qualifiers for the Women's World Cup, before the group system used in men's qualifiers was replicated for the women's game.

Originally, there were only four teams that competed. That doubled in 1997 and a further four teams were added in 2009. There will be 16 teams in the 2017 competition.

The most recent Euros tournament took place in Sweden in 2013 and was won by Germany, who have dominated with eight of nine triumphs - including the last six in a row.

Format

The path to the 2017 tournament began with a preliminary round (April 2015), qualifying group stage (September 2015 to  September 2016) and play-offs (October 2016).

The eight group winners and six best runners-up advanced, with the other two runners-up locking horns in a play-off.

As the hosts, the Netherlands will join the 15 qualifiers.

Groups

There will be four groups of four teams, with the top two from each group progressing to the knock-out, quarter-final stage.

A: Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Belgium

B: Germany, Sweden, Italy, Russia

C: France, Iceland, Switzerland, Austria

D: England, Scotland, Spain, Portugal

Key dates

16 July: Denmark v Belgium, 8:45pm

17 July: Germany v Sweden, 8:45pm

19 July: England v Scotland, 8:45pm

20 July: Netherlands v Denmark, 8:45pm

21 July: Sweden v Russia, 6pm

23 July: Scotland v Portugal, 6pm

              England v Spain, 8:45pm

24 July: Norway v Denmark, 8:45pm

25 July: Sweden v Italy, 8:45pm

27 July: Portugal v England, 8:45pm

              Scotland v Spain, 8:45pm

Quarter-finals

29 July: Group A winner v Group B runner-up (match 25)

             Group B winner v Group A runner-up (match 26)

30 July: Group D winner v Group C runner-up (match 28)

             Group C winner v Group D runner-up (match 27)

Semi-finals

3 August: Winner of match 25 v winner of match 28

                Winner of match 26 v winner of match 27

Final

6 August: Semi-finalist 1 v semi-finalist 2

Broadcasters

UK (Channel 4)

Ecuador (RedTeleSistema)

Chile (Telecanal)

In Steph Houghton’s words…

“Everybody has a role to play and that was certainly the case in the World Cup. It was about the whole squad and the staff as well.

“We need to support each other and make sure we’re all in the right place to do well for England.

“We want to push ourselves and see how far we can go. All the girls have really put the work in over the last couple of weeks and we’re all feeling the benefits.

“We pride ourselves on being the most together team that we can be. It’s not fake. We all want each other to do well.

“We have bonded together on and off the pitch and I think that shows in games.”

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In Nick Cushing’s words…

“I'm looking forward to the Euros.

“England want to progress from their third-place finish at the World Cup, but that’s difficult because there are some really tough teams out there.

“The French, the Germans, Spain and Holland have all found some form.

“It’s going to be exciting to watch."


Watch the Manchester City Lionesses in league action after the Euros from September at the Academy Stadium.

Seasoncards are now on sale from £60 Adults and £32 for Under 16s. For more information visit mancity.com/mcwfcseasoncard

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