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Women's Football News
The draw for the UEFA Women's Euro 2009 has been made in Helsinki this afternoon and England have been drawn in Group C.
The Finals kick off in Helsinki on 23 August next year, but Hope Powell's side now know who they will face in Finland when they take to the field for their opener on 25 August.
England were the last team to be drawn out and were put into Group C along with Sweden, Russia and Italy.
"Sweden will be tough, and we know that they will probably be considered favourites in the group," said Hope Powell after the draw. "They are a tradiitional power, consistently ranked highly in the world and always perform well at major tournaments. We regard them highly and have learned a lot from their infrastructure. However, we are closing the gap.
"Russia and Italy are fast developing and bringing through good young players, as shown by the good performances of their youth teams. We will now focus on our preparation and scouting our opponents. We are still developing as a team and this tournament will be another test for us in terms of our progress."
England's first match will be against Italy in Lahti on 25 August. They will then meet Russia in Helsinki Football Stadium on 28 August before rounding off their group games against Sweden in Turku on 31 August.
The Three Lions last met Sweden in a friendly in Cyprus in February this year, losing 2-0. The nations also met at Euro 2005 in Blackburn, with the Swedes edging that group game 1-0 to send England out. They had a better result in their last encounter with Russia - a 6-0 victory at Milton Keynes National Hockey Stadium in March 2007. You have to go way back to February 2005 for the last meeting between England and Italy. That game, which was also in Milton Keynes finish 4-1 in the home sides favour.
At next summer's Championship, the top two sides from each group will go into the Quarter-Finals along with the two best third-placed teams. Current holders Germany are in a group with Iceland, Norway and France, while hosts Finland will entertain Ukraine, Denmark and Holland.
Euro 2009 draw:
Sun 23 August: Finland v Denmark (Olympic Stadium, Helsinki)
Sun 23 August: Ukraine v Holland (Turku Stadium, Turku)
Mon 24 August: Germany v Norway (Tampere Stadium, Tampere)
Mon 24 August: Iceland v France (Tampere Stadium, Tampere)
Tue 25 August: Sweden v Russia (Turku Stadium, Turku)
Tue 25 August: England v Italy (Lahti Stadium, Lahti)
Wed 26 August: Holland v Finland (Olympic Stadium, Helsinki)
Wed 26 August: Ukraine v Denmark (Helsinki Football Stadium, Helsinki)
Thu 27 August: France v Germany (Tampere Stadium, Tampere)
Thu 27 August: Iceland v Norway (Lahti Stadium, Lahti)
Fri 28 August: Italy v Sweden (Turku Stadium, Turku)
Fri 28 August: England v Russia (Helsinki Football Stadium, Helsinki)
Sat 29 August: Finland v Ukraine (Olympic Stadium, Helsinki)
Sat 29 August Denmark v Holland (Lahti Stadium, Lahti)
Sun 30 August: Germany v Iceland (Tampere Stadium, Tampere)
Sun 30 August: Norway v France (Helsinki Football Stadium, Helsinki)
Mon 31 August: Sweden v England (Turku Stadium, Turku)
Mon 31 August: Russia v Italy (Olympic Stadium, Helsinki)
Thu 3 September: QF 1 - Winner A v 3rd placed B or C (Turku Stadium, Turku)
Thu 3 September: QF 4 - Runner-up A v Runner-up B (Tampere Stadium, Tampere)
Fri 4 September: QF 2 - Winner B v Runner-up C (Lahti Stadium, Lahti)
Fri 4 September: QF 3 - Winner C - 3rd placed A or B (Helsinki Football Stadium, Helsinki)
Sun 6 September: Winner QF1 v Winner QF 4 (Tampere Stadium, Tampere)
Mon 7 September: Winner QF 2 v Winner QF 3 (Helsinki Football Stadium, Helsinki)
Thu 10 September: Winner Semi FInal 1 v Winner Semi Final 2 (Olympic Stadium, Helsinki)
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