Old hands Italy and former semi-finalists Denmark are joined by Iceland and debutants Scotland in Pot 3 for Tuesday's UEFA Women's EURO 2017 draw. Here is what to expect.
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Old hands Italy and Denmark are joined by Iceland and debutants Scotland in Pot 3 for the UEFA Women's EURO 2017 finals draw on Tuesday. We take a closer look at the four sides.
- Pots in full (draw streamed live at 17:30CET on Tuesday from Rotterdam)
Pot 1: Netherlands (hosts, in Group A), Germany (holders), France, England
Pot 2: Norway, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland
Pot 3: Italy, Iceland, Scotland, Denmark
Pot 4: Austria, Belgium, Russia, Portugal
- Pot 3 profiles
EURO best: Runners-up (1993, 1997)
How they qualified: Group 6 runners-up, W6 D0 L2 F26 A8 P18
Coach: Antonio Cabrini
One to watch: Melania Gabbiadini (forward, Verona)
What to watch out for: Only Norway can match Italy's record of qualifying for 11 final tournaments – and the Azzurre have never gone out before the last eight of any EURO – but they will not travel to the Netherlands among the favourites. While the Italians lost narrowly to Germany in the 2009 and 2013 quarter-finals, a qualifying campaign in which they were beaten home and away by Switzerland is more representative of their actual form – especially since long-standing forward Patrizia Panico switched to coaching the men's Under-16s.
That is not to undervalue a team with Sara Gama, Alice Parisi and Melania Gabbiadini (sister of Napoli's Manolo), yet a 3-2 victory against Scotland in the 2015 Cyprus Cup remains Italy's solitary win against any of the other 15 qualifiers since UEFA Women's EURO 2013.
EURO best: Quarter-finals (2013)
How they qualified: Group 1 winners, W7 D0 L1 F34 A2 P21
Coach: Freyr Alexandersson
One to watch: Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (midfielder, Rosengård)
What to watch out for: Long before Iceland's heroics at UEFA EURO 2016, the women had established themselves at the top level, qualifying in 2009 and getting through their group four years later. They achieved qualification this time with relative ease, only dropping points in a last-match defeat by Scotland with a finals place already secure.
The goals of Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir (other than during a spell of maternity leave) have continued to propel the Icelanders, aided by the long-standing creative hub of Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir, Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir and Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, and backed up by Dagný Brynjarsdóttir and Fanndís Fridriksdóttir. A tendency to ship goals in the biggest games has been their Achilles heel, however.
EURO best: First qualification
How they qualified: Group 1 runners-up, W7 D0 L1 F30 A7 P21
Coach: Anna Signeul
One to watch: Kim Little (forward, Arsenal)
What to watch out for: In 2009 they were pipped in the play-offs by Russia on away goals, and four years later they conceded twice deep into extra time in Spain to be foiled at the last. Yet after those near-misses, Scotland are now in their first final tournament, dropping points in qualifying only at home to Iceland.
The Scots' Swedish coach Anna Signeul, in charge since 2005 and comfortably the longest-serving of the 16 in the Netherlands, possesses a core of talented players with over or approaching 100 caps: goalkeeper Gemma Fay, defenders Rachel Corsie, Ifeoma Dieke and Jennifer Beattie, midfielders Jo Love and Leanne Ross, plus forwards Kim Little and Jane Ross. Heavy defeats in recent friendlies by Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands show that Signeul will require her key players to be fit in the summer, though the return of Little to Arsenal from the United States should help her planning.
EURO best: Semi-finals (1984, 1991, 1993, 2001, 2013)
How they qualified: Group 4 runners-up, W6 D1 L1 F22 A1 P10
Coach: Nils Nielsen
One to watch: Pernille Harder (forward, Linköping)
What to watch out for: Their run to the 2013 semi-finals – beating France on penalties before falling to Norway by the same method – ended a long period of disappointments at big tournaments for Denmark (even if they did not win any of their five games in 90 minutes and needed the drawing of lots to pip Russia to the last eight as a best third-placed team). They also began 2017 qualifying slowly but were to come good, culminating in an impressive scalp of Sweden.
The Danes boast an array of talented attackers, with Pernille Harder leading a line including Nadia Nadim, Sanne Troelsgaard, Johanna Rasmussen and Katrine Veje. Goalkeeper Stina Petersen, meanwhile, made her name in the 2013 finals after an injury to first-choice Heidi Johansen, and her defence let in just one goal during qualifying.