Ten things to know about UEFA Women's EURO 2017

Want to follow UEFA Women's EURO 2017 but are new to the female game? Our guide answers all your questions to get you set for the big kick-off on Sunday.

Join the conversation with #WEURO2017 ...
Join the conversation with #WEURO2017 ... ©Sportsfile

1 When and where is the tournament?

The competition begins on Sunday and runs until 6 August in the Netherlands. The host cities are Breda, Deventer, Doetinchem, Rotterdam, Tilburg, Utrecht and Enschede, where the final will be played at FC Twente Stadion. Tickets are still on sale, though some games are sold out.

2 When was the competition first played?

The first tournament ran from 1982 to 1984, and the fourth edition was the first to be granted championship status by UEFA. The competition changed from biennial to every four years in 1997 to avoid clashes with the FIFA Women's World Cup. The first competition ended in a two-legged final, with the final tournament increasing to four teams (1987 to 1995), eight (1997 to 2005) and 12 (2009 and 2013) before an expansion to 16 this time around.

Great Germany goals from the past 20 years
Great Germany goals from the past 20 years

3 Who has won the competition?

Germany have been dominant, winning in 1989, 1991, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013: eight times in all, including the last six editions. Sweden took the first title in 1984 and Norway won in 1987 and 1993. The only other nations to reach finals have been England (1984 and 2009) and Italy (1993 and 1997).

4 Who is taking part?

In the first 16-team finals, the Netherlands were joined by the 15 nations that came through qualifying, which started in April 2015: 14 from the groups plus Portugal, who beat Romania in a play-off. Portugal, Austria, Belgium, Scotland and Switzerland have qualified for the first time.

5 How does the competition work?

The teams have been split into four groups, with the top two from each progressing to the quarter-finals. The knockout phase begins on 29 July.

Meet the teams
Meet the teams

6 What are the groups?

Listing the teams in seeding order ...

Group A: Netherlands (hosts), Norway, Denmark, Belgium
Group B: Germany (holders), Sweden, Italy, Russia
Group C: France, Switzerland, Iceland, Austria
Group D: England, Spain, Scotland, Portugal

7 Which teams are favourites?

Champions since 1995, Germany naturally are the team to beat, especially after winning their first Olympic gold medal last year. After that, coach Silvia Neid (in charge since 2005) stepped down to be replaced by Steffi Jones, who won this competition as a defender in 1997, 2001 and 2005. Although key players from past tournaments have retired or are injured, Germany have a strength in depth second to none and players coming through who have won many international youth honours.

France are tipped as Germany's strongest challengers with a squad dominated by Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain, who played in this year's UEFA Women's Champions League final. They have fallen in the last two quarter-finals on penalties, developing a reputation for underperforming, but Les Bleues showed their ability by winning the strong SheBelieves Cup in March, beating England and world champion hosts the United States while drawing against Germany.

Watch memorable England goals
Watch memorable England goals

Norway, runners-up last time, and Olympic silver medallists Sweden are always among the contenders, while England were the best European performers at the 2015 Women's World Cup, beating Germany for bronze. Spain and Switzerland have hugely talented squads, while the Netherlands could benefit from home advantage.

Of the others, Denmark will fancy their chances of negotiating Group A, where Belgium are outsiders. Italy have never failed to reach the last eight, but it will be tough to finish above Germany and Sweden, not to mention Russia. Iceland are in their third consecutive finals and can challenge Switzerland in Group C, even if it will be difficult for Austria. Injury-hit Scotland and Portugal will not find it easy in Group D. The opening derby day on 19 July, when England and Spain meet their neighbours, will give us a clue.

8 Who are the players to watch?

Here are just a small selection ...

Vivianne Miedema (forward, Netherlands) – the prolific striker recently signed for Arsenal and is key to the hosts' hopes.

Hegerberg: award winner
Hegerberg: award winner

Ada Hegerberg (forward, Norway)the reigning UEFA Best Women's Player in Europe was joint-top scorer in qualifying with ten goals and now seeks international honours to add to her club prizes with Lyon and individual baubles.

Dzsenifer Marozsán (midfielder, Germany) plenty of the Germany squad could have featured but Lyon playmaker Marozsán is central to their chances.

Hedvig Lindahl (goalkeeper, Sweden) if the Chelsea keeper can perform like she did at the Olympics, Sweden have a huge opportunity.

Wendie Renard (defender, France) France have a wealth of attacking talent but their tall captain is a rock at the back and can pop up with goals at set pieces.

Ramona Bachmann (forward, Switzerland) one of several Switzerland players capable of a game-changing performance.

Jill Scott (midfielder, England) pushed into a more attacking role by manager Mark Sampson, the tall Scott has become central to England's play.

Meet the referees
Meet the referees

9 Are there any rule changes in the competition?

There are two trials taking place: sides will be allowed to use a fourth substitute in extra time, while yellow and red cards can be issued to team officials in technical areas. The penalty shoot-outs will follow the traditional pattern, unlike the 'ABBA' experiments in youth tournaments this season.

10 How can I follow the tournament?

On UEFA.com: We will have live match blogs from every game among our comprehensive coverage.

On TV: UEFA's broadcast partners around the world.

On social media: follow with @UEFAWomensEURO on Facebook and Twitter and join the conversation with #WEURO2017.