Renard, Katoto And Gunnarsdottir: Stars To Watch In Euro 2022 Group D

Group D could see some sensational individual performances
17:00, 07 Jul 2022

We have already seen our first glimpse of some of the potential stars of Euro 2022 as England got the tournament underway with a 1-0 win over Austria. But now it is time to turn our attention to Group D and the talent it possesses.

France are the biggest name but also the country that has a huge amount to prove. They are one of the favourites to win the tournament but have not got further than the quarter-finals, something they will be hoping to change this year. This time around, they are stacked with talent from Champions League winners Lyon and elite French side PSG. 

Marie-Antoinette Katoto has genuine hopes of winning the Golden Boot having scored 18 for PSG, while captain Wendie Renard is an icon of the game. She’s bagged 33 goals despite playing as a centre-back and her performances for Lyon prove that she still has what it takes to compete at the highest level. 


Her experience will be vital if France are to reach the latter stages, but given they are without captain Amandine Henry and top scorer Eugenie Le Sommer, it’s far from a full strength French team. Kadidiatou Diani and Delphine Cacarino are a duo that could catch the eye as the support acts for Katoto, but the PSG forward will bear the brunt of the goalscoring responsibility.

Italy are likely to be their main challengers as Milena Bertolini’s team look to bounce back from a disappointing 2017 showing, which saw them dumped out at the group stage. Juventus won the domestic treble in Italy last term and their squad reflects that, as Cristiana Girelli leads the line, with 43 goals in 66 appearances. She will be joined by club teammate Barbar Bonansea who is also a capable goalscorer, while Fiorentina’s 37-year-old Daniela Sabatino is past her best, but should lead this side by example. 

The main issue with this Italy squad is that they are ageing and now could be past their peak. It’s a tough balancing act between youth and experience but with eight players in their 30s, several of which should start, this could be the last bow for this particular Italy side. But is it a step too far?

Belgium made their tournament debut in 2017 and will be hoping to get out of the group for the first time here. Reading midfielder Justine Vanhaevermaet is a creative midfielder that did well in England last season while she will look to provide opportunities for captain Tessa Wullaert. The Anderlecht forward who also played in England with Man City is her nation’s top scorer having scored 67 in 109 appearances. 

Lyon forward Janice Cayman has huge experience to go with her goalscoring touch while 20-year-old Gent midfielder Feli Delacauw has a bright future and could make this her breakthrough tournament. 

Iceland face a tough test on all fronts this summer as one of the outsiders in the tournament, but they do feature a star name. Skipper Sara Bjork Gunnarsdóttir has a record 138 international caps, is a two-time Champions League winner with Lyon and joined Juventus this summer. Central midfielders don’t come much more accomplished than her. West Ham’s Dagný Brynjarsdóttir is the perfect midfield partner as has scored more goals than any other member of the squad - so this duo could drag Iceland to several shock results. 

Five Group D stars to watch:

Marie-Antoinette Katoto (France)

Wendie Renard  (France)

Cristiana Girelli (Italy)

Tessa Wullaert (Belgium)

Sara Bjork Gunnarsdóttir (Iceland)

The Sportsman’s Group D predictions:

1st - France

2nd - Italy

3rd - Iceland

4th - Belgium

*18+, terms and conditions apply, odds subject to change.

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