France look good for top spot

Group D of the Euros contains France (2/7 Group D Outright) who are one of the teams expected to challenge for honours, as they search for a maiden international tournament win.

Les Bleues finished top of their qualification group to reach the upcoming tournament to be held in England and given they are currently ranked third in the world rankings, they should be aiming for the top.

Italy (4/1 Group D Outright) are expected to be France’s nearest challengers, with Belgium (14/1) and Iceland (14/1) unfancied to progress.

Who should progress?

France (1/25 to qualify) are the team expected to win the group given how their current form along with the make-up of their squad.

Their record at international tournaments isn’t great – a fourth place at the 2011 World Cup is their best performance while they have a habit of exiting in the last eight.

They have reached the quarter-finals in each of the last three women’s Euros before being beaten but now is arguably their best ever chance to lift the title.

Italy (8/15) will be targeting at least second and they do have previous form in this tournament, having reached the final in 1993 and 1997.

However, in three of their women’s Euros, they have exited at the group stage and their first game against France may define how their campaign goes.

Belgium (5/2) are competing in only their second major tournament and that lack of experience could count against them.

Iceland (5/2) are at their fourth consecutive Euros and will be hoping to improve from last time when they were beaten in all three group games.

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Form guide

France’s recent form has been wonderful, having won 14 consecutive matches, conceding only five goals in that run. Even though a lot of those matches were against inferior opponents, it is form that cannot be ignored.

Italy’s recent results have been more mixed but they did win eight of ten games to qualify for the tournament.

Belgium have alternated between winning and losing each of their last four games while Iceland’s form coming into the tournament is excellent, winning nine of ten – the only defat coming to the top-ranked side in the world, the USA.

Star players

For France, look no further than defender Wendie Renard, who is one of the most decorated female players on the planet.

She has won 14 French league titles along with eight in the Champions League and will now be hoping to add international honours to her collection.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto (7/1 Top Goalscorer) has been in sensational goal-scoring form for club and country, netting 25 times in 30 caps.

Italy’s Barbara Bonansea is also one to watch with her penchant for spectacular free kicks making her stand out.

Fixtures

July 10 – 17:00 – Belgium v Iceland
July 10 – 20:00 – France v Italy
July 14 – 17:00 – Italy v Iceland
July 14 – 20:00 – France v Belgium
July 18 – 20:00 – Iceland v France
July 18 – 20:00 – Italy v Belgium

Women’s Euros Group A Odds: England should fare strongly

Women’s Euros Group B Odds: Spain the team to beat

Women’s Euros Group C Odds: Sweden take top billing

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