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UEFA Women's EURO 2017 preliminary round preview

Qualifying for UEFA Women's EURO 2017 in the Netherlands begins on Saturday with the two preliminary round mini-tournaments in Moldova and Malta.

Malta form the first opposition for debutants Andorra
Malta form the first opposition for debutants Andorra ©Domenic Aquilina

The UEFA Women's EURO 2017 preliminary round kicks off on Saturday with two debutants among the eight teams aiming for the two available spots in the qualifying group stage.

Preliminary round
Andorra will play their first competitive women's match at any level against Group 2 hosts Malta in Hamrun, after Georgia and the Faroe Islands launch that section. Meanwhile Moldova, participating in their first UEFA Women's EURO, stage Group 1 and start against Lithuania in Vadul lui Voda after Luxembourg play Latvia in Orhei.

Games continue on Monday and Thursday with the two group winners advancing to join the 38 nations with the highest placings in the UEFA Women's National Team Coefficient Rankings in the main qualifying group stage draw at 14.00CET on 20 April in Nyon, streamed live on UEFA.com.

Qualifying group stage
• The qualifying group stage will consist of eight groups of five sides with matches played home and away.

• The group winners and the six best runners-up will join the hosts, the Netherlands, in the final tournament.

• The other two runners-up will play off for the remaining berth in the expanded 16-team finals.

Road to the Netherlands
Preliminary round: 4–9 April
Qualifying group stage draw: 20 April, Nyon
Qualifying group stage: 14 September 2015–20 September 2016
Play-off draw: 23 September 2016, Nyon
Play-offs: 17–25 October 2016
Finals draw: late 2016, Netherlands
Finals: July/August 2017, Netherlands