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Women's Euros preview: France take on Belgium with Italy in action against Iceland

France laid down a marker with a blistering first-half performance against Italy on Sunday, scoring five times; They can seal a quarter-final spot with a game to spare if they beat Belgium; Iceland were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in their opener against the Belgian Red Flames

Grace Geyoro

Italy need a positive result to keep their qualification hopes alive, while France can seal Group D's top spot by beating Belgium at New York Stadium.

Italy vs Iceland: Bertolini hoping Italy can "learn from mistakes"

The race for Group D's second spot remains wide open, with France looking well-positioned to clinch top spot. Both Italy and Iceland will still fancy their chances of qualifying and view matchday two's meeting as their best opportunity to assert some control over group proceedings.

Italy, who suffered a chastening loss to France in their opener, can take some credence from a much-improved second-half showing despite the result being well beyond them by half-time. Iceland will rightly view this game as their most winnable fixture ahead of facing France on July 18.

Italy's Martina Piemonte

Italy head coach Milena Bertolini said: "We knew a win or even a draw against France would be difficult, so the focus is on the next two games now.

"The response in the second half against France was good. We need to understand what went wrong, learn from our mistakes, work hard and look ahead - the next two games are crucial."

Iceland head coach Thorsteinn Halldorsson said: "The Italian team is very organised, especially defensively. They don't necessarily score many goals, but are very disciplined and are quick to turn things around and attack with force.

Euro 2022

"We still have the future in our hands and that is the situation we want to be in. We are excited to play tomorrow and are well prepared."

Also See:

France vs Belgium: France determined to deliver, says Diacre

France

Paris Saint-Germain's Grace Geyoro scored a first-half hat-trick as France made a dream start to Euro 2022 by thrashing Italy 5-1 in their opening game at Rotherham's New York stadium - they are now in a commanding position in Group D.

Head coach Corinne Diacre has said that her players remain "focussed and determined", despite only taking 45 minutes to dismantle Le Azzurre on Sunday.

Les Bleues have the opportunity to secure qualification with a game to spare should they emerge victorious over Belgium on Thursday, which happens to be Bastille Day.

Diacre said: "We are ready for everything. We have worked on several things. We've been working on this for a while because we came up against teams like Belgium in the 2023 World Cup qualifiers.

"We are like we were on the eve of the first match: focused, determined. After the Italy game, I didn't need to talk a lot. The girls know what they have to do. Honestly, I didn't need to say anything."

Belgium coach Ives Serneels said: "We will have to make the most of the few chances that we get [against France]. We think we can hurt them in some situations, but we will have to defend as a block against this France side.

Euro 2022

"Will we play with an extra defender? That's an option, but if we defend too deep we're going to get completely trapped in front of our own goal and I also want my team to offer something in attack as well. Can we cause an upset? We have to believe that."

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.

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.

Euro 2022: The groups...

Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland

Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland

Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland

Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland

Euro 2022: The schedule...

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: Italy vs Iceland - kick-off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium

Group D: France vs Belgium - kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium

Friday July 15

Group A: Northern Ireland v England - kick-off 8pm, St Mary's

Group A: Austria vs Norway - kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium

Saturday July 16

Group B: Finland vs Germany - kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK

Group B: Denmark vs Spain - kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Sunday July 17

Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands - kick-off 5pm, Bramall Lane

Group C: Sweden vs Portugal - kick-off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village

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

Knockout phase

Quarter-finals

Wednesday July 20

Quarter-final 1: Winners Group A v Runners-up Group B - kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium

Thursday July 21

Quarter-final 2: Winners Group B v Runners-up Group A - kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Friday July 22

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

Quarter-final 4: Winners Group D v Runners-up Group C - 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

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