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Women’s Euros preview: Italy, Belgium, Iceland battle to join France in Euro 2022 quarter-finals

With France’s Group D victory already sewn up, the fight to join them in the quarter-final rages between Italy, Iceland and Belgium as the group stages draw to a close.

Iceland vs France, Rotherham, kick-off 8pm

France can metaphorically stick the kettle on – not too far from the home of Yorkshire Tea – after securing their spot as Group D winners with two wins from two coming into their final group game with Iceland in Rotherham.

But the 16-match winning run Corianne Diacre has taken her side on hasn’t been built without the sort of winning mentality which won’t let that happen, even against an Iceland side desperately in need of a result to progress.

Diacre’s Bleus have impressed so far and ahead of a guaranteed quarter-final with Netherlands on Friday, will want to continue their role as outside favourites of the tournament by setting themselves up well to face the reigning champions.

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France’s Marie-Antoinette Katoto limped off France’s Women Euro 2022 group D match with Belgium and will not play again in the tournament

Learning to live without Marie-Antoinette Katoto after the tournament-ending injury she picked up against Belgium will be of major importance for Diacre, whose side appeared unsettled in that 2-1 victory after the loss of the PSG striker, who has scored 28 goals in 32 international appearances.

“I believe we can do something great,” was the message from Iceland coach Thorsteinn Halldorsson in his pre-match press conference, with Iceland already going one better than their 2017 Euros by picking up a point against Italy last time out.

The minnow nation’s main aim at Euro 2022 was to win a game – and although they led against both Belgium and Italy, they are yet to do so. A point – or even a one-goal defeat – may be enough on Monday to send them through, but would rely on the group’s other two teams to draw as well.

Perhaps midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir summed it up best, saying: “It’s football. Anything can happen.”

Italy vs Belgium, Manchester (City Academy Stadium), kick-off 8pm

It’s not far off winner takes all at the Manchester City Academy Stadium on Monday night. Three points for either Italy or Belgium will likely see them into the last eight, to face Sweden, so long as France do not lose to Iceland. A draw might do it too, alongside a France victory.

Both of these teams come into their final group game having drawn with Iceland and lost to France, although Italy’s 5-1 humbling by the group winners was rather more comprehensive than Belgium’s 2-1 reverse on Thursday.

While Italy coach Milena Bertolini has looked to relieve the pressure on her side and said they have faced more “important” games in the past, her opposite number Ives Serneels has been less cautious with his language.

“We can really start in this tournament. It will be a historic day for Belgian women’s football. And I’m going to be honest, if we don’t qualify to the next round I will be very disappointed,” he told reporters.

Belgium have never reached the knockout stages of the European Championships before, while Italy were quarter-finalists in both 2009 and 2013 before crashing out at this stage in the last tournament five years ago.

If either team does manage the feat of getting through the group stages this time around, a monumental challenge awaits in the last eight, in the shape of reigning champions Netherlands.

Follow Euro 2022 across Sky Sports

Keep up with all the latest from Euro 2022 across Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer.

Coverage will be anchored by Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker, alongside Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will give analysis throughout the tournament.

Italy's Valentina Bergamaschi celebrates scoring her sides first goal
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Italy came from behind to draw with Iceland but have only a point from their opening two games

They will also be joined by experienced England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.

The pundits and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 Mobile Presentation Bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team around the country to the various stadiums where matches are being played.

In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be rebranded for the tournament to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast from 21 June. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews in addition to a strong programme line-up around the tournament.

Belgium equalised against France in the first half
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Belgium were edged out by France in their last game after an improved showing from their opening draw with Iceland

The knock-out phase…

Quarter-finals

Wednesday July 20

Quarter-final 1: England v Spain – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium

Thursday July 21

Quarter-final 2: Germany v Austria – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Friday July 22

Quarter-final 3: Sweden v Runners-up Group D – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village

Saturday July 23

Quarter-final 4: France v Netherlands – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium

Semi-finals

Tuesday July 26

Semi-final 1: Winners quarter-final 1 v Winners quarter-final 3 – kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane

Wednesday July 27

Semi-final 2: Winners quarter-final 2 v Winners quarter-final 4 – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK

Final

Sunday July 31

Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2 – kick-off 5pm, Wembley

What’s happened so far…

Group stage:

Wednesday July 6

Group A: England 1-0 Austria

Thursday July 7

Group A: Norway 4-1 Northern Ireland

Friday July 8

Group B: Spain 4-1 Finland

Group B: Germany 4-0 Denmark

Saturday July 9

Group C: Portugal 2-2 Switzerland

Group C: Netherlands 1-1 Sweden

Sunday July 10

Group D: Belgium 1-1 Iceland

Group D: France 5-1 Italy

Monday July 11

Group A: Austria 2-0 Northern Ireland

Group A: England 8-0 Norway

Tuesday July 12

Group B: Denmark 1-0 Finland

Group B: Germany 2-0 Spain

Wednesday July 13

Group C: Sweden 2-1 Switzerland

Group C: Netherlands 3-2 Portugal

Thursday July 14

Group D: Italy1-1 Iceland

Group D: France 2-1 Belgium

Friday July 15

Group A: Northern Ireland 0-5 England

Group A: Austria 1-0 Norway

Saturday July 16

Group B: Finland 0-3 Germany

Group B: Denmark 0-1 Spain

Sunday July 17

Group C: Switzerland 1-4 Netherlands

Group C: Sweden 5-0 Portugal

Monday July 18

Group D: Iceland vs France – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium

Group D: Italy vs Belgium – kick off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium



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