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Countdown to China

Published: Thursday 21 December 2006, 20.25CET
Europe's World Cup hopefuls will prepare for the big event with European qualifiers, tournaments in China and Portugal and a possible Wembley date.
by Paul Saffer
from London
Published: Thursday 21 December 2006, 20.25CET

Countdown to China

Europe's World Cup hopefuls will prepare for the big event with European qualifiers, tournaments in China and Portugal and a possible Wembley date.

FIFA Women's World Cup holders Germany and fellow European qualifiers Denmark, England, Norway and Sweden are counting the days until the 2007 tournament begins on 10 September in China. The five European contenders are preparing their warm-up schedules, which include two strong friendly tournaments, the first UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifiers and even the possibility of the first international at the new Wembley Stadium.

China tournament
Germany and England will travel to China to join the World Cup hosts and the United States for a four nations tournament in Guangzhou between 26 and 30 January. England begin against China while Germany meet the US. The European sides then swap opponents before facing each other on the final day.

Algarve Cup
Germany then go to Portugal from 7 to 14 March to defend the Algarve Cup, female football's most prestigious non-tournament event. The holders will be joined by Norway, Denmark and non-World Cup qualifiers France in their group. Sweden will be in the other pool with Finland, China and the US, with the first-placed teams meeting in the final.

England chance
England are not involved in the Algarve Cup, but they will play three friendlies that month against Scotland, the Netherlands and Russia - with the fixture versus their neighbours scheduled to take place at Wembley, assuming it is ready for use. "It would be fantastic for the players and supporters," England manager Hope Powell said. "If it comes off it will be a great occasion and will help in preparing for big games at the World Cup."

EURO opening
In April the first of the European qualifiers begin with Germany playing the Netherlands in Group 4. Germany, aiming for a fifth consecutive title in Finland in 2009, play three qualification matches before the World Cup begins, as do Sweden, while Norway have two and England one - against Northern Ireland on 13 May.

Draw
The World Cup itself runs from 10 to 30 September in Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Wuhan, which will stage the draw on 22 April. Germany, like China, will be in the top group of seeds with the other positions to be decided by FIFA's Women's World Ranking. Also involved are the US, Canada, Australia, Korea DPR, Nigeria, Ghana, Argentina, Brazil, the winner of a play-off between Japan and Mexico in March and the winner of the OFC Oceania Women's Championship from 16-22 June.

2007 schedule:
(Subject to change, extra fixtures may be announced later)

Denmark
7 March, v France, Algarve Cup
9 March, v Norway, Algarve Cup
12 March, v Germany, Algarve Cup
14 March, tbc, Algarve Cup

England
26 January, v China, Guangzhou, China Four Nations
28 January, v United States, Guangzhou, China Four Nations
30 January, v Germany, Guangzhou, China Four Nations
11 March, v Scotland (h), Wembley, friendly (tbc)
March tbc, v Netherlands (h)
March tbc, v Russia (h)
13 May, v Northern Ireland (h), UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifier

Germany
26 January, v United States, Guangzhou, China Four Nations
28 January, v China, Guangzhou, China Four Nations
30 January, v England, Guangzhou, China Four Nations
7 March, v Norway, Algarve Cup
9 March, v France, Algarve Cup
12 March, v Denmark, Algarve Cup
14 March, tbc, Algarve Cup
14 April, v Netherlands (h), UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifier
10 May, v Wales (a), UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifier
23 August, v Switzerland (h), UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifier

Norway
10 February, v Japan, Cyprus, friendly
7 March, v Germany, Algarve Cup
9 March, v Denmark, Algarve Cup
12 March, v France, Algarve Cup
30/31 May, v China (h), friendly tbc
17 June, v Israel (a), UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifier
21 June, v Austria (h), UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifier
14 July, v United States (a), friendly tbc
25 August, v Canada (h), friendly tbc
30 August, v Germany (a), friendly tbc

Sweden
7 March, v Finland, Algarve Cup
9 March, v China, Algarve Cup
12 March, v United States, Algarve Cup
14 March, tbc, Algarve Cup
5 May, Italy (a), UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifier
16 June, Romania (a), UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifier
20 June, Hungary (h), UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifier

Last updated: 05/01/07 11.57CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/news/newsid=492415.html#countdown+china

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