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Women's EURO team guide: Belgium

Impressive on their finals debut in 2017, the Red Flames will be looking to ruffle more established feathers again this time around.

Group D fixtures

Sunday 10 July
Belgium vs Iceland (18:00, Manchester)

Thursday 14 July
France vs Belgium (21:00, Rotherham)

Monday 18 July
Italy vs Belgium (21:00, Manchester)

Women's EURO 2022 schedule

How they qualified: Group H winners (P8 W7 D0 L1 F37 A5)
Women's EURO best
: Group stage (2017)
Women's EURO 2017
: Group stage

Key player: Janice Cayman

Janice Cayman
Janice CaymanPhotonews via Getty Images

A Lyon player since 2019, the 33-year-old forward was recently named Belgium's Player of the Year, four years after her first award. With the Red Flames, Cayman is the second highest goalscorer and the most-capped player in their history. She has scored six goals in six 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers having found the net five times in eight matches during the EURO qualifiers, helping Belgium to win their group.

One to watch: Amber Tysiak

Tall, athletic and a good reader of the game, the 21-year-old Louvain defender likes nothing more than to take advantage of the freedom she is given to surge forward and embodies the future of the Belgium team.

Coach: Ives Serneels

A defensive midfielder in his playing days, Serneels won the Belgian league in 1997 and Belgian Cup in 1999 at Lierse. He worked as youth team coach there from 2008 to 2010 then took the reins of their women's team the following year, guiding them to the final of the Women's Belgian Cup. Named national team coach in 2011, Serneels took the Red Flames to their first major international tournament by finishing second in the Women's EURO 2017 qualifiers after two third-place qualifying finishes in the 2013 edition and for the 2015 Women's World Cup.

Women's EURO 2022: All you need to know

Tactics

Belgium training in Tubize
Belgium training in TubizeBELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Having celebrated ten years in charge in 2021, Serneels has left a deep mark on this team as they have improved under the motto: "Every country has its own culture. We try our best with the possibilities we have in Belgium." Serneels has built a balanced 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, depending on the opponents, with the aim of getting the most from his leading players and testing plenty of new faces in friendly games. Qualifying top scorer Tine De Caigny is the target woman up front with Cayman, who can play in many offensive positions, often the provider.

At the back, the central pairing of Julie Biesmans and Laura De Neve is rarely touched while full-backs Davina Philtjens (right) and Laura Deloose (left) also played in every qualifier. There is more turnover in midfield though and bringing stability there will probably be Serneels' biggest task if his side are to challenge the tournament's best teams.

Pedigree

2017 highlights: Norway 0-2 Belgium
2017 highlights: Norway 0-2 Belgium

After three consecutive third-place qualifying finishes in 2011, 2013 and 2015, Belgium reached their first major finals two years later by earning a spot at Women's EURO 2017 in the neighbouring Netherlands. After an opening game defeat against eventual finalists Denmark, Belgium created headlines by beating Norway before a loss against the hosts and future winners consigned them to third place in Group A.

Knocked out by Switzerland in the 2019 World Cup play-off round, Belgium won their qualifying group ahead of the Swiss to qualify for their second straight EURO finals, in which they will play against European heavyweights France, Italy and Iceland. Can the Red Flames reach their first knockout phase this year?

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