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Women’s Euro 2025 qualifiers: England face Ireland and Sweden with new qualifying campaign explained

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Women’s Euro 2025 qualifiers: England face Ireland and Sweden with new qualifying campaign explained

England face two crucial matches against the Republic of Ireland and Sweden in July as their quest to reach Euro 2025 continues – here’s how the new-look qualifying system works.

Sarina Wiegman’s side sit third in Group A3 with seven points, behind second-placed Sweden on goal difference with France leading the way on nine points.

The Lionesses earned an important victory over France to boost their qualification hopes having lost to the group leaders at St James’ Park three days earlier in June.

The Republic of Ireland cannot qualify automatically after losing all four of their Group A3 matches and instead will enter the play-offs.

England, the current European champions, can still finish in top spot although it is out of their hands. However, second place is still enough to qualify for Euro 2025.

What’s next for England?

The Lionesses return to action on Friday with their final two Euro 2025 qualifying matches. Sarina Wiegman’s side host the Republic of Ireland at Carrow Road on July 12 and then end their campaign with an away trip against Sweden on July 16.

England Women winning the Euros in 2022
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England Women won the Euros in 2022

How does the new qualifying format work?

Taking inspiration from the Nations League, qualifiers have been split into League A, League B and League C, based on a team’s ranking.

As with a usual Nations League or European qualifying campaign, each team plays each other twice – once at home and once away – in a table format.

The top two sides from each of the League A groups will automatically qualify for Euro 2025.

The third and fourth-placed teams enter the play-offs against sides from League B and C.

In Group B2, Scotland have booked a place in the play-offs for next summer’s European Championships following a comfortable 5-0 victory over Israel in Hungary. Serbia and Slovakia are the other nations in their group.

Wales face Croatia, Ukraine and Kosovo in B4 and Northern Ireland are up against Portugal, Bosnia and Malta in B3.

Georgia Stanway celebrates her opener for England against France.
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Georgia Stanway scored in England’s 2-1 victory over France

How do the play-offs work?

There will be two paths and two rounds in the Euro 2025 qualifiers. Each game will be played over two legs.

League B and C group fixtures will determine where teams are placed for their play-off draw.

Round One, Path One – third and fourth-place League A teams to face the five group winners and three best-ranked runners-up in League C.

The eight winners progress to the second round.

Round One, Path Two – the four group winners and two best-ranked runners-up in League B will be drawn against the remaining two runners-up and four third-placed teams in League B.

The six winners progress to the second round.

Round Two – all 14 winners are drawn together in seven ties. Seven teams will be seeded based on their European Qualifying overall ranking.

The seven winners will then join the already-qualified eight teams at Euro 2025, plus Switzerland.

What about Switzerland?

Switzerland will be hosting Euro 2025, but they will still compete in League B, despite already having their spot assured as the host nation.

The play-off paths will be adjusted based on Switzerland’s performance.

If they finish as a group winner, runner-up or in third place, the best-ranked fourth-placed team of League B will complete the round one, path two play-off line-up and the draw seeding for the six ties will be adjusted.

What is the Euro 2025 qualifying schedule?

Qualifying matchdays five and six: July 10 to 16 2024

Play-off draw: July 19 2024

Play-off round one (two legs): October 23 to 29 2024

Play-off round two (two legs): November 27 to December 3 2024

Euro 2025 finals draw: December 16 2024

Euro 2025 finals: July 2 to 27 2025 (Switzerland)

The Euro 2025 group draw in full

League A

Group A1: Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Finland

Group A2: Spain, Denmark, Belgium, Czechia

Group A3: France, England, Sweden, Republic of Ireland

Group A4: Germany, Austria, Iceland, Poland

League B

Group B1: Switzerland, Hungary, Turkey, Azerbaijan

Group B2: Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Israel

Group B3: Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Malta

Group B4: Wales, Croatia, Ukraine, Kosovo

League C

Group C1: Belarus, Lithuania, Cyprus, Georgia

Group C2: Slovenia, Latvia, North Macedonia, Moldova

Group C3: Greece, Montenegro, Andorra, Faroe Islands

Group C4: Romania, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Armenia

Group C5: Albania, Estonia, Luxembourg

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