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Women's Euro 2022 predictions: Free-scoring France face Belgium
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Tom Hill
Grace Geyoro scored a hat-trick as France made a big statement in their tournament opener against Italy
Grace Geyoro scored a hat-trick as France made a big statement in their tournament opener against Italy

The second round of Group D matches take place on Thursday, with France looking to make it two wins from two when they face Belgium at the New York Stadium.

Les Bleues hammered Italy 5-1 last Sunday and Milena Bertolini's side will be hoping to bounce back from defeat in their opener when they take on Iceland in Manchester.

Italy vs Iceland (Thursday, 5pm BST)

The pressure is on Italy as they try to get off the mark after their humbling loss to the French.

Le Azzurre conceded all five goals in the first 45 minutes but their clash with minnows Iceland could provide a welcome confidence boost. 

Thorsteinn Halldorsson's team made a solid start to the tournament as they earned a draw with Belgium at the weekend and they will view Thursday's battle as the perfect chance to add more salt to Italy's wound. 

Team news

Although her side conceded five goals, Bertolini is expected to name the same defence.

Martina Rosucci and Martina Piemonte, who scored the consolation against France, came off the bench on Sunday and will hope to be named in the starting XI, but there are no fresh injury concerns for Bertolini to consider. 

Iceland's line-up is expected to remain the same as Halldorsson keeps faith with the same formula that earned them a draw last time out. 

The stats

Fans could be in for a treat on Thursday, with goals likely.

Italy have found the back of the net in each of their last 18 matches, which includes a 7-0 success over Lithuania in April. 

Bertolini's side also drew 1-1 with pre-tournament favourites Spain at the start of the month.

Iceland are unbeaten in their last four games and have scored 10 goals in that run. 


While Italy made a torrid start, they have won at least one match at each of the last six European Championships. 

The two sides met in friendlies in 2021, with one game ending in a draw, while Italy were victorious in the other. 

Italy have not lost to Iceland since 2001, and they should have enough quality to get past their opponents and chalk up a first win. 

However, it would not be a surprise to see Iceland find the back of the net. 

France vs Belgium (Thursday, 8pm BST)

France will be hoping to secure qualification when they face Belgium in Rotherham.

Les Bleues will be well aware of the threat that Belgium pose but the manner of their opening victory suggests they mean business this summer. 

Team news

Rather than rest players, France coach Corinne Diacre is likely to stick with the same XI.

That means Wendie Renard and Aissatou Tounkara should start in the heart of defence, hoping to keep Belgium duo Elena Dhont and Tessa Wullaert quiet. 

Neither side sustained any injuries from their first matches and with work still to do, both coaches are expected to stick to their opening game plans. 

The stats

Corinne Diacre's France side have now won 15 matches on the bounce
Corinne Diacre's France side have now won 15 matches on the bounce

It is fair to say that France have found their groove, scoring 16 goals in their last three matches. 

They have won 15 games in succession, with their last defeat coming in April 2021, when the United States beat them 2-0. 

Belgium did enjoy a seven-match winning run from the turn of the year, but they have lost two of their last five under coach Ives Serneels, while they were held in their tournament opener. 


It would take a brave person to bet against France on Thursday and the manner of their opening 5-1 win suggests they should perhaps have no problems in recording another similarly one-sided success.

Italy are five places higher than Belgium in the FIFA rankings and were torn apart with consummate ease.

Belgium may have started the tournament with a draw but France will pose a much tougher test.

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