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UEFA Women's Euro Qualifying Feb. 2021 preview

UEFA Women's Euro Qualifying February 2021 matchday preview

February 17, 2021 By Juan Aguerrevere
The last 10 UEFA Women’s Euro Qualifying group-stage games will begin on Thursday, Feb. 18, and carry onto Wednesday, Feb. 24, as European national teams aim to clinch playoff spots or, in some cases, direct qualification.

Eight European national teams – Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden – have already qualified to join hosts England at the 2022 UEFA Women's Euro. Of the eight, Iceland is the only side to have qualified as one of the best three runners-up.

The February matchday will uncover Groups D and E winners, the remaining two best runners-up and the six nations that will face-off in the playoffs scheduled for March. Check out the competition's page to learn all the broadcast information available:

How UEFA Women's Euro Qualifying qualification works

  • Hosts (1) – England (automatic qualification)
  • Group winners (9) – Automatic qualification 
  • Three runners-up with the best record (3) – Automatic qualification
  • The remaining six runners-up will participate in a play-off (3) – Three winners qualify

UEFA Women's Euro Qualifying qualification status

  • Qualified: Belgium, Denmark, England (hosts), France, Germany, Iceland*, Netherlands (holders), Norway, Sweden
  • Confirmed in the playoffs: Northern Ireland, Russia, Ukraine
  • Can still qualify as group winners: Finland, Poland, Portugal, Spain
  • Group runners-up can still qualify direct: Austria, Italy, Switzerland
  • Can still reach play-offs: Czech Republic

Group A

The first group of the nine is all set and done. Reigning Women's Euro champions, the Netherlands, had a flawless group run under head coach Sarina Wiegman and was led by veteran midfielder Sherida Spitse, who is the competition's second top goalscorer at 10 goals. Spitse, 30, and Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema make up 19 of the Netherlands' 47 goals – the most in the competition. Unfortunately for the Dutch, Wiegman will is set to step in as England manager in 2021, leaving a void of uncertainty for the team's future.

Russia clinched playoffs with 24 points, earning them another chance to take part in the Finals for the sixth time and fourth in a row.

Tuesday, Feb. 23: Estonia vs. Slovenia

Group B

Group B is another group that will be in action in February as Italy aims to smash Israel by a large goal differential on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Italy would have to win by at least six goals to earn a spot at the Euros.

On the other hand, Denmark guaranteed qualification with a 3-1 win in Italy, who had not lost at home in five years, on Dec. 1, 2020. The Danish finished with 28 points and fourth in the goalscoring charts with 41. Chelsea's Pernille Harder is their top scorer with eight goals after ten matches.

Wednesday, Feb. 24: Italy vs. Israel

Group C

Norway retrieved all 18 possible points in group C, earning direct qualification to the Euros. Wolfsburg's Caroline Graham Hansen leads the team in goals – 10 – and sits in second with Spitse on the goalscoring charts for the competition. Additionally, Hansen is one of the five players tied for most assists in the competition with six. 

Northern Ireland defeated Belarus and the Faroe Islands in their final two games to squeeze past Wales, earning a spot in the playoffs.

Group D

Spain ensured a top-two finish after defeating Moldova 10-0 in November 2020. However, La Roja will qualify if they beat Azerbaijan or avoid a defeat against Poland.

The Czech Republic will hope that Spain avoids a loss to Poland to clinch a playoff spot. The Czechs have superior head-to-head with the Polish, but not the Spanish.

If Spain defeats Azerbaijan, then Poland will have to beat Spain to remain in contention to at least earn a playoff spot.

Thursday, Feb. 18: Azerbaijan vs. Spain

Tuesday, Feb. 23: Spain vs. Poland, Azerbaijan Moldova 

Group E

Group E enters the last week as the most undeveloped group of the nine with four games to play and a search for a winner.

Portugal and Finland will settle which of the two will qualify directly to the 2022 Women's Euro and which will have to play a playoff game, or neither. The best outcome for the two nations would be to draw their game on Friday and win their respective games the following week. These results would see the runners-up qualifying directly beside the group winner.

Friday, Feb. 19: Finland vs. Portugal, Cyprus vs. Scotland 

Tuesday, Feb. 23: Cyprus vs. Finland, Scotland vs. Portugal

Group F

Sweden won seven games and drew one to qualify directly to the 2022 Women's Euros. An away draw and a home win over Iceland secured the Swedes the honor.

Iceland is the only best second place to secure direct qualification to the Euros. The Icelandic finished in second place with a 3-1 comeback away win over Slovakia and a win over Ukraine to secure their spot. 

Group G 

France beat Austria 3-0 in November to qualify as group winners. The French scored 42 goals – second best – in their eight games.

Austria is dependent on Italy not beating Israel by six goals and that Group E's runners-up do not end with a better record.

Group H

Belgium qualified as group winners with a 4-0 bashing against second-place Switzerland. The Belgians impressed in the qualifying, amounting to seven wins and one loss. In the process, 23-year-old forward Tine De Caigny and Anderlecht's Tessa Wullaert led the top scorers (11) and assists (6) charts respectively.

Switzerland finished second and have a chance to qualify as one of the best runners-ups if either Italy beat Israel by 1-0 or if Group E runners-up end up with a worse record.

Tuesday, Feb. 23: Croatia vs. Romania

Group I

Other than the Netherlands and Norway, Germany was the only other to qualify as group winners with a 100% record. The Germans scored the second-most goals in the competition with 43.

Ukraine overtook Ireland on the final day to clinch a play-off.

UEFA Women's Euro Qualifying schedule

  • February 18-24, 2021: Remaining scheduled qualifying group games
  • March 5, 2021: Playoff draw
  • April 2021: Playoffs
  • TBD: UEFA Women's Euro finals draw
  • July 6-31, 2022: UEFA Women's Euro in England

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