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Key players, route to final, tournament history & more

Austria head to just the second major tournament in the history of the women’s team at Euro 2022, following their stunning run to the semi finals of the 2017 European Championships.

Austria arguably boast a stronger squad to the one that reached the last four five years earlier, but will be hoping to spring a surprise and utilise their underdog status once more in the tough group the draw has thrown up.

Here’s everything you need to know about Austria at Euro 2022.

Austria finished second in their qualifying group behind France, progressing to Euro 2022 as one of three best second place teams. They lost just once during their qualifying campaign – a 3-0 defeat to Les Bleus- winning six and drawing one of their eight fixtures.

Austria netted 22 goals across their eight fixtures – 14 of which came across their pair of comprehensive victories over Kazakhstan.

The three goals they conceded in their defeat to France were the only goals they shipped throughout qualifying, and they also held Les Bleus to a 0-0 draw in November to ensure the battle for top spot in their group went down to the penultimate round of fixtures.

Austria have a pretty remarkable record at major tournaments; they have qualified for just one (Euro 2017) but progressed all the way to the semi finals, holding France to a draw in the group stages and knocking out Spain in the quarter finals.

Euro 1984: Did not qualify
Euro 1987: Did not qualify
Euro 1989: Did not qualify
Euro 1991: Did not qualify
Euro 1993: Did not qualify
Euro 1995: Did not qualify
Euro 1997: Did not qualify
Euro 2001: Did not qualify
Euro 2005: Did not qualify
Euro 2009: Did not qualify
Euro 2013: Did not qualify
Euro 2017: Semi finals

Austria have never qualified for the World Cup – but are in with a shot of qualifying via the playoffs for the 2023 tournament.

1991: Did not qualify
1995: Did not qualify
1999: Did not qualify
2003: Did not qualify
2007: Did not qualify
2011: Did not qualify
2015: Did not qualify
2019: Did not qualify

Nicole Billa will carry Austria’s primary attacking threat at Euro 2022. The 26-year-old has been hugely prolific for Hoffenheim over the course of the last three seasons, netting 53 goals in 64 league appearances.

Her goal haul of 23 during the 2020/21 season saw her claim the Frauen-Bundesliga golden boot, despite Hoffenheim finishing third behind Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg.

Billa has been equally as potent in front of goal for Austria, with 43 goals in 79 appearances for her country – her tally of seven in qualifying made her responsible for nearly one third of Austria’s total goals.

Sarah Zadrazil will also be key to Austria’s hopes this summer. The Bayern Munich midfielder is closing on a century of appearances for her country, and oozes calmness and composure on the ball.

Irene Fuhrmann has been in charge of Austria since 2020, making the step up from her role as assistant manager under previous boss Dominik Thalhammer.

Fuhrmann represented Austria 23 times at senior international level prior to hanging up her boots in 2008.

Following her retirement, she moved into the Austrian national team coaching setup, with two spells as the senior side’s assistant manager, and a six-year stint as the head coach of the Under 19 squad sandwiched in between. The 41-year-old is the first ever woman to manage the Austrian senior team.

Austrian centre back Viktoria Schnaderbeck’s cousin is former Watford and Werder Bremen defender Sebastian Prodl.

Prodl – who also operated as a centre back prior to his retirement this summer – earned 73 caps for Austria during his 15-year professional career; a tally recently eclipsed by Schnaderbeck’s current haul of 78.

England vs Austria

Date & time: Wednesday 6 July, 20:00 (BST)
Venue: Old Trafford
How to watch on TV: BBC One (UK)

Austria vs Northern Ireland

Date & time: Monday 11 July, 17:00 (BST)
Venue: St Mary’s
How to watch on TV: BBC One (UK)

Austria vs Norway

Date & time: Friday 15 July, 20:00 (BST)
Venue: Amex Stadium
How to watch on TV: BBC Three / BBC iPlayer (UK)

With England and Norway also in their group, progression to the quarter finals will be a big ask for Austria.

Should they top the group, the runner up from the group of death will await in the quarter finals – likely either Spain, Germany or Denmark – followed by a likely encounter with the winner of Group C – presumably either Sweden or the Netherlands – in the semi finals.

Should Austria finish second in the group, it will be the winner from the group of death in the quarter finals – likely Spain or Germany – and either the Group C runner up – still likely Sweden or the Netherlands – or Group D winner – likely France – as their semi-final opponent.

Goalkeepers: Isabella Kresche (St. Polten), Jasmin Pal (FC Koln), Manuela Zinsberger (Arsenal).

Defenders: Celina Degen (FC Koln), Marina Georgieva (Sand), Verena Hanshaw (Eintracht Frankfurt), Katharina Naschenweng (Hoffenheim), Katharina Schiechtl (Werder Bremen), Viktoria Schnaderbeck (Arsenal), Carina Wenninger (Roma), Laura Wienroither (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Barbara Dunst (Eintracht Frankfurt), Jasmin Eder (St. Polten), Laura Feiersinger (Eintracht Frankfurt), Julia Hickelsberger-Fuller (Hoffenheim), Marie-Therese Hobinger (Zurich), Maria Plattner (Turbine Potsdam), Sarah Puntigam (FC Koln), Sarah Zadrazil (Bayern Munich).

Forwards: Nicole Billa (Hoffenheim), Stefanie Enzinger (St Polten), Lisa Kolb (Freiburg), Lisa Makas (Austria Wien).

Austria were the surprise package of Euro 2017 with their remarkable run to the semi finals. Although they have the talent in the squad capable of causing an upset once more at Euro 2022, the strength of opposition they will face in their group in the shape of hosts England and dark horses Norway, makes a repeat of their heroics of five years ago seem less plausible.


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