On the bill: Iceland – France
Admittedly, the third and last day of the group stage, Monday July 18, does not pose any accounting challenge for the France team, already assured of first place in group D. But the questions to be answered are numerous.
Facing Iceland, second with 2 points, will Corinne Deacon choose to rest her starters or keep the backbone of the first two successes? The coach is not known to be talkative with the media. She lived up to her reputation at the press conference on Sunday. The technician gave no indication of the possible starting composition.
Marie-Antoinette Katoto’s withdrawal following a serious injury to her right knee (meniscus crack and rupture of the anterior lateral ligament) against Belgium (2-1) on Thursday will however force her to modify the attacking trio that the PSG striker trained with Kadidiatou Diani and Delphine Cascarino. “I’m going to put Wendie [Renard] in front, ”joked Corinne Deacon.
The objective of the competition being to pass the pitfall of the quarter-finals (which Les Bleues have not succeeded in international competition since the 2012 Olympics), the temptation to quickly recreate automatisms with Katoto’s replacement could encourage not to play too much on the changes of players.
Moreover, after a sensational start against Italy (5-1), the France team was much less attractive against Belgium (2-1). Against Iceland, the captain’s teammates, Wendie Renard, must bounce back and reassure their level of play.
As for the quarter-finals and the Netherlands, the future adversary, Corinne Deacon ensures that this ” not [lui] inspire nothing yet. We will focus on this match after Iceland”.
If successful on Monday night, Les Bleues can match the best winning streak (17). A statistic that does not necessarily have the gift of relaxing the coach: “You know the stats… But thanks for giving me the info. » Vibe.
Euro Star: Kadidiatou Diani
Facing Belgium, Kadidiatou Diani launched the tricolor selection from the 6e minute by successfully heading a cross from Sakina Karchaoui. Incidentally, the winger became the first player in the history of the France team, men and women alike, to score on July 14.
On this national holiday, the PSG player, who passed through Juvisy (Essonne), above all delivered a good overall performance, in line with her previous match against Italy. His percussion ability in the right lane is a major offensive asset for the Blues.
It now remains to be seen whether coach Corinne Deacon will keep her in her preferred position or whether she will decide to shift her to the center line to make up for the absence of Marie-Antoinette Katoto in the line of attack. In January 2019, the France team beat the Americans (3-1) in a friendly with Diani at the forefront of the attack: the player took the opportunity to score twice.
“It is the group of death and, unfortunately, it is we who died, but we fought for our lives”
Finalists of the last edition of the Euro, the Danes were eliminated this time in the first round, overtaken by Germany and Spain. As their coach, Lars Sondergaard, pointed out with this warrior metaphor, the competition in this group B, to which Finland was added, was particularly tough.
After a big defeat against the Germans (0-4) and a narrow victory at the expense of the Finns (1-0), the Danes lost the decisive match (0-1), Saturday July 16, against the Spaniards, clearly dominating – the latter celebrated their qualification for the quarter-finals enjoying some pizzas.
In 2025, the Danes hope to benefit from the support of their public. Indeed, their country has submitted a joint application with its Nordic neighbors (Finland, Norway, Sweden) to organize the Euro. Among the other candidates, we find in particular that of France. UEFA will announce their choice in December.
In the retro: Sweden beats the Netherlands on the post
On Sunday July 17, the Swedes crushed the Portuguese (5-0), which, given their results in the two previous matches (draw against the Netherlands and victory against Switzerland) allows them to finish in the first Group C spot.
They are in fact ahead of the Dutch, reigning European champions, on goal difference, who, after having stalled for a long time against the Swiss on Sunday, ended up winning largely at the very end of the match (4-1).
Sweden will face Iceland, Belgium or Italy in the quarter-finals on Friday July 22, while the Oranje will face the French team on Saturday July 23.