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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
The knock-out phase…
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
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
Sunday July 31
Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2 – kick-off 5pm, Wembley
What’s happened so far…
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