Women's EURO 2017 guide: Group D

Wednesday 19 July is derby day at UEFA Women's EURO 2017 as Group D starts with Spain v Portugal and England v Scotland: we profile the four teams.

Women's EURO 2017 guide: Group D
©UEFA.com
  • The games (CET)

Wednesday 19 July
Spain v Portugal (Doetinchem) 18:00
England v Scotland (Utrecht) 20:45

Sunday 23 July
Scotland v Portugal (Rotterdam) 18:00
England v Spain (Breda) 20:45

Thursday 27 July
Portugal v England (Tilburg) 20:45
Scotland v Spain (Deventer) 20:45

©Getty Images

ENGLAND
2013: group stage
EURO best: runners-up (1984, 2009)
How they qualified: Group 7 winners, W7 D1 L0 F32 A1 P22
One to watch: Steph Houghton (defender, Manchester City)
Last five friendlies
(most recent result first): WWWDL

• The early 2013 exit, which included a 3-2 loss to Spain, sparked a change in management and young Welshman Mark Sampson led England to 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup bronze, the best European finish in Canada. Sampson opted to name his squad on 3 April, more than three months before the deadline, and a group of players not too dissimilar to the World Cup selection have looked good in the four friendlies since, including wins against Austria, Switzerland and Denmark, with Ellen White looking on excellent form up front having, like fellow forward Fran Kirby, returned from long-term injury. 

Coach: Mark Sampson
"We've made some big strides over the last three years I think, and it was only three and a bit years ago that England went to the European Championship and didn't deliver ... We need to go into this European Championship with a different mindset, and I genuinely feel that this a different team going into this tournament."

©Sportsfile

SCOTLAND
2013: play-offs
EURO best: first qualification
How they qualified: Group 1 runners-up, W7 D0 L1 F30 A7 P21
One to watch: Jane Ross (forward, Manchester City)
Last five friendlies (most recent result first): WLWLD

 • The longest-serving coach at the finals, Anna Signeul will end her 12-year Scotland reign by leading them in their first-ever major tournament. However, their preparations have been marred by injuries to Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie, two crucial players. While Jane Ross was a ten-goal qualifying joint-top scorer and the likes of Lisa Evans, Rachel Corsie, Ifeoma Dieke and the promosing Erin Cuthbert mean Scotland still have a strong squad, they would have loved to have England-based Little and Beattie for the keenly-awaited opener against their neighbours. Goalkeeper Gemma Fay won a 200th cap in Friday's 1-0 friendly defeat of the Republic of Ireland.

Coach: Anna Signeul
"I'm mostly looking forward to seeing these players play these games in the EURO because this is something that we've been longing for many, many years. So that will be fantastic."

©Sportsfile

SPAIN
2013: quarter-finals
EURO best: semi-finals (1997)
How they qualified: Group 2 winners, W8 D0 L0 F39 A2 P24
One to watch: Jenni Hermoso (forward, Paris Saint-Germain)
Last five friendlies (most recent result first): DWWLW

• In 2017, Spain have won the Algarve Cup, beaten Belgium 4-1 away and 7-0 at home, defeated Canada and lost only 2-1 to Brazil. Therefore it is no surprise that many feel this could be the time for Spain to start to match their success at women's youth level in the senior competition, not least as several of those junior titles were under Jorge Vilda. Verónica Boquete was a surprise absence from the squad but recent Paris signing Hermoso, her new club-mate Irene Paredes and Barcelona's Vicky Losada are among a host of players well capable of performing at the highest level.

Coach: Jorge Vilda
"I think every day we're getting closer to the leading European and world teams. Our job now is to try to reduce that gap still further, but I think we're on the right track while [the players] are working hard every day to improve."

©FPF

PORTUGAL
2013: fourth in qualifying group
EURO best: first qualification
How they qualified: Group 2 runners-up, W4 D1 L3 F15 A11 P13, won play-off v Romania (agg: 1-1, Portugal won on away goals)
One to watch: Cláudia Neto (midfielder, Linköping)
Last five friendlies (most recent result first): WLLDL

• The last team to make the finals and probably the most surprising having ranked 25th before qualifying, Portugal have players based in six different countries and will hope that experience will aid a team new to this level. As well as midfielder Neto – the sole squad member with over 100 caps – Ana Borges, Amanada Da Costa and Ana Leite are among those with significant club experience.

Coach: Francisco Neto
"We know how strong our opponents are, Portugal are the team with the lowest ranking, but that does not make us any less ambitious. It was unity that took us to this EURO. We have moved closer to the best teams in Europe."

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