Italy and Belgium each recorded a home win in their 2018 meetings as they renew acquaintances in the final round of Group D games in Manchester.
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Italy vs Belgium: Head-to-head
- Italy and Belgium close out their UEFA Women's EURO 2022 Group D campaigns at the Manchester City Academy Stadium, in a fixture the Red Flames have enjoyed the better of in recent years.
- The two teams are level on one point apiece having each come from behind to draw 1-1 against Iceland. Italy did so on Matchday 2 at the Manchester City Academy Stadium, following a 5-1 defeat by France four days earlier in Rotherham. Belgium took a share of the spoils against Iceland on Matchday 1 in Manchester before a 2-1 loss to Les Bleues in Rotherham.
- The sides are renewing their rivalries for the first time since the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification campaign, when both teams won their respective home games by a 2-1 scoreline, Italy going on to top the section and clinch a spot at the finals in France; Belgium would finish as runners-up before losing in the play-off semi-finals on away goals to Switzerland after a 3-3 aggregate draw.
- The teams' last fixture came in September 2018 in Leuven. Davinia Vanmechelen (6, 35) scored for the home side either side of Cristiana Girelli's 30th-minute penalty equaliser.
- Italy secured a comeback 2-1 victory earlier in that World Cup qualifying campaign, in Ferrara in April 2018. Janice Cayman gave visitors Belgium a 37th-minute lead from the spot, only for Martina Rosucci to level five minutes later. Girelli (80) struck the late winner for the Azzurre.
- Belgium's two victories in this fixture have come in the last three matches, the other success a 4-1 win in the group stage of a friendly tournament in Cyprus in March 2017. Daniela Sabatino struck a ninth-minute opener for Italy, before Tessa Wullaert equalised with a penalty a minute later. Strikes from Elien Van Wynendaele (39), Maud Coutereels (64) and substitute Davina Philtjens (81) gave the Red Flames victory.
- Italy had been unbeaten in the opening six meetings between the sides prior to that March 2017 loss, winning five of those.
- Italy's overall record in the nine matches in this fixture is W6 D1 L2, the solitary draw coming in a February 1997 friendly in Oud-Heverlee. The Azzurre's Antonella Carta (75) cancelled out Christine Saelens' ninth-minute opener.
- Italy have scored in each of the nine fixtures to date; Belgium have failed to find in the net in just one of the last six matches between the nations, a 2-0 friendly away defeat in Monza in May 2001.
- This is Italy's 12th EURO appearance, a joint record with Norway.
- Italy's best performance in the competition came when they were runners-up in 1993 and 1997, either side of their only failure to qualify for the tournament in 1995.
- In 1993, as hosts, they were beaten by Norway in Cesena, Birthe Hegstad hitting the 75th-minute winner. Four years later they lost 2-0 in the decider to Germany, Sandra Minnert and Birgit Prinz scoring in Oslo.
- Italy have suffered a group stage exit in three of the last five tournaments, reaching the quarter-finals in 2009 and 2013.
- Belgium made their major tournament debut at EURO 2017, finishing third in Group A behind eventual winners the Netherlands and Denmark, who would also reach the final. The Red Flames' sole win came on Matchday 2, Ives Serneels' side earning a 2-0 success against Norway in Breda.
- Italy sealed their spot at EURO 2022 as one of the three best runners-up, securing 25 points from a possible 30 in Group B. The Azzurre's only loss in the campaign – 3-1 at the hands of Group B leaders Denmark in Empoli in October 2020 – was also their first home defeat for over five years.
- Belgium secured their place at only their second EURO by winning Group H thanks to seven victories in their eight matches. The exception was a 2-1 loss to eventual runners-up Switzerland in Thun in September 2020.
- Against Iceland on Matchday 2, Italy managed to avoid defeat when conceding the opening goal for the first time at a EURO since a 2-1 victory against England in 2009.
- Iceland's third-minute opener was the seventh occasion that the Azzurre have conceded in the first ten minutes of a Women’s EURO match; more than any other side in that portion of the match.
- Italy's 5-1 defeat by France on Matchday 1 was only the second time they had let in five goals at a Women's EURO, following their 5-3 loss to Norway in 2005.
- The Azzurre's four-goal margin of defeat against Les Bleues was their joint biggest at the tournament, along with a 4-0 loss to Germany in 2005.
- Italy have kept just three clean sheets in their 34 EURO finals games.
- Janice Cayman's 36th-minute strike against France on Matchday 2 was Belgium's first Women's EURO finals goal before the 59th minute.
- That made Cayman the first Red Flames player to score at multiple EURO tournaments.
- Belgium's Matchday 1 result against Iceland is their only draw in their last 17 EURO matches, qualifying included (W11 L5).
- Four of Belgium's five finals goals have come between the 59th and 67th minute.
Ones to watch: Italy
- The 32-year-old has struck in each of the last two meetings with Belgium, including an 80th-minute winner in the April 2018 victory in Ferrara.
- The forward was Italy's leading scorer in their qualification campaign for EURO 2022, scoring nine goals in her ten appearances – including a hat-trick away to Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2020.
- Girelli hit the 85th-minute winner in Italy's only victory at EURO 2017, the 3-2 Matchday 3 defeat of Sweden in Doetinchem.
- The Juventus striker scored the only goal in the 2023 World Cup qualifying victory against Switzerland on 12 April – the Azzurre's last competitive international prior to EURO 2022.
- The 30-year-old hit the equaliser in the eventual 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory against Belgium in April 2018, her first goal for the Azzurre in over four-and-a-half years.
- The midfielder featured in nine of Italy's ten qualifiers ahead of EURO 2022, scoring in the home wins against Georgia and Israel.
- Rosucci was a member of the Italy squad, along with current Azzurre defenders Sara Gama and Elisa Bartoli, that won the 2008 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship in France.
- Her strike for Juventus against Roma on 2 October was named the Serie A goal of the season for 2021/22.
- The 37-year-old opened the scoring in the eventual 4-1 friendly defeat by Belgium in March 2017.
- Sabatino struck twice – the second a spectacular volley – in the 3-2 Matchday 3 victory against Sweden at EURO 2017.
- The forward scored the first Azzurre goal under coach Milena Bertolini, after just nine minutes of the 5-0 World Cup qualifying home win versus Moldova in September 2017.
- The Fiorentina striker finished the 2021/22 campaign as the leading goalscorer in Serie A with 15 goals.
Ones to watch: Belgium
- The 33-year-old converted her penalty to give the Red Flames the lead in the eventual 2-1 defeat by the Azzurre in April 2018.
- The forward struck five times in qualifying for EURO 2022, including a hat-trick in the 6-1 win against Croatia in Leuven in September 2019.
- The first strike of Cayman's treble against Croatia was the Red Flames' opening goal in the EURO 2022 qualification campaign.
- The Lyon attacker became Belgium's most-capped player in June 2021 by making her 112th appearance, surpassing Aline Zeler's previous record.
- The 33-year-old hit Belgium's fourth goal in their 4-1 defeat of Italy in March 2017, in what was her 50th appearance for the senior national team.
- The defender has spent the last four seasons playing her club football in Italy, firstly with Fiorentina and, since July 2020, fellow Serie A side Sassuolo.
- Philtjens became the fourth player to reach 100 caps for Belgium in the 4-0 World Cup preliminary win against Poland on 30 November.
- The left-back is one of a trio of Red Flames players to have started all of their 16 qualifiers for EURO 2022 and the 2023 World Cup combined, along with Cayman and Wullaert.
- The 29-year-old scored the equaliser in the 4-1 victory against the Azzurre in March 2017.
- The forward is the top scorer in qualifying for the 2023 World Cup with 15 goals in eight appearances, including five in the Red Flames' record 19-0 victory against Armenia on 25 November.
- The Red Flames skipper marked her 100th outing for the side with a goal in the 7-0 win against Albania on 21 September.
- Wullaert, Belgium's all-time record scorer, struck two hat-tricks among her total of nine goals in qualifying for EURO 2022.