Women's Euro 2017: Scotland to face England, Spain & Portugal

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland in Rotterdam
Scotland Women head coach Anna Signeul
Anna Signeul has led Scotland Women to their first major finals

Scotland Women will face England in their first match of Euro 2017 in the Netherlands next summer.

The Scots, ranked 21st in the world, will play fifth-ranked England - the group's top seeds - on Wednesday, 19 July in Utrecht.

"So many of our players play in England and have best friends in the England team," said head coach Anna Signeul.

"So I think they will be very excited. I hope it is very motivating for them. It is something to look forward to."

Signeul believes Scotland "couldn't have asked for anything better" in terms of "getting a little bit of attention around the tournament" by drawing England first up.

Her side will then play Portugal, ranked 40th, in Rotterdam on Sunday, 23 July.

Their final group game will be against Spain, ranked 14th, in Deventer on Thursday, 27 July.

"They are two teams we have to watch out for," Signeul told BBC Scotland. "We know they have developed a lot.

"Spain have had huge success on the youth side and their young players are coming through to the senior team and showing a lot of progress. So we have two very difficult teams there as well. It is an interesting and exciting group."

It is Scotland's first time at a major finals after 13 failed attempts, having finished runner-up to Iceland in their qualifying campaign.

Despite a convincing qualifying campaign in which Scotland won seven and lost one of their eight games, they were beaten 7-0 in a home friendly by Euro hosts the Netherlands in October, underlining the scale of the challenge to progress to the knock-out stages next summer.

"When you look at the draw and the 16 teams, you realise how big this tournament has become and how many good teams there are in Europe now playing women's football, competing at the highest level," Signeul added.

"Germany, England, France and Holland are all very, very strong and it will take a lot for us to be able to compete, but we are going to try."

Full draw:

Group A: Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway

Group B: Germany, Sweden, Russia, Italy

Group C: France, Iceland, Austria, Switzerland

Group D: England, Scotland, Spain, Portugal

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