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England v Austria: Sarina Wiegman has full squad for Euro 2022 opener

Host country: England Dates: 6-31 July Venues: Old Trafford, Manchester; St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton; Amex Stadium, Brighton; Stadium MK, Milton Keynes; Brentford Community Stadium; Leigh Sports Village; Bramall Lane, Sheffield; Academy Stadium, Manchester; New York Stadium, Rotherham; Wembley Stadium.
Coverage: All 31 games will be shown live across the BBC. Click here for more information

England boss Sarina Wiegman says “everyone is available for selection” when the hosts take on Austria in the opening game of Euro 2022.

Defender Lucy Bronze missed the final warm-up match against Switzerland last week because of illness.

Wiegman said on Tuesday she had some “hard choices” to make as all her players were available before their final training session at Old Trafford.

A crowd of 70,000-plus will be present for the first of 31 matches this month.

Last month, striker Ellen White tested positive for Covid-19 and was an unused substitute in last Thursday’s game in Zurich, which England won 4-0.

Wiegman, who guided the Netherlands to the Women’s European Championship title in 2017, has to decide whether to recall the Lionesses’ record scorer.

“It’s the most important thing to have the best players available,” she added.

“We’ve shown we have a very good squad with depth and it’s really good we have to make hard choices.”

Will Austria spring a surprise?

This is Austria’s second Euros after making it to the semi-finals on their European Championship debut in 2017, when they defeated Switzerland, Iceland and Spain – as well as holding France to a draw.

They are 21st in Fifa’s world rankings – 13 places below England – and come into the tournament off the back of friendly wins over Montenegro and Belgium.

This is the second meeting between the two sides in eight months.

Back in November, Austria narrowly lost 1-0 at the Stadium of Light in World Cup qualifying as White scored on her 100th appearance for the Lionesses.

Austria’s build-up has been dealt a blow with the news midfielder Maria Plattner, who had scored four goals in the past five internationals, will miss the tournament after breaking her collarbone in training on Sunday.

Freiburg’s Lisa Kolb is also out of contention after testing positive for Covid-19.

Speaking about Wednesday’s match, Austria’s Hoffenheim forward Nicole Billa – who scored seven times in qualifying – said: “When there are 75,000 people at Old Trafford, it’s a moment in life that you just have to enjoy.”

Austria head coach Irene Fuhrmann added: “On paper, anything but a win by England would not just be a surprise, but a sensation.”

Austria's players gather for training at Old Trafford on the eve of the opening match of Euro 2022xxxx
Austria’s players trained at Old Trafford on Tuesday before the opening match of Euro 2022

‘93% chance of England progressing to quarter-finals’

Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis, Nielsen’s Gracenote: “England begin Euro 2022 as favourites according to our simulations of the competition, with 21% chance of winning the competition and 37% chance of making it to the final.

“England’s Group A opponents are ranked 11th (Norway), 21st (Austria) and 47th (Northern Ireland) in the world on the latest Fifa ranking. England’s chance of progressing to the quarter-finals is 93% according to our pre-tournament estimates.”

Sourced From BBC

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