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EURO 2024: Assessing each group and key games to watch

Euro 2024 starts in Germany on Friday 14th June as the hosts take on Scotland in Munich.  Here’s a preview of all six groups and the key games to watch.

euro 2024 football tournament

The 17th edition of the European Championships starts in Germany on Friday 14th June as the hosts take on Scotland in Munich. 

Sixteen teams cut across six groups will square off in the group stages of the competition with the first two from each group guaranteed a place in the knockout stages, while the four best teams from each group will earn qualification as the best losers.

Here’s a preview of all six groups and the key games to watch:

Group A

Group A consists of the tournament host and favourites, as well as Scotland, Switzerland and Hungary.

On paper, it is a contextually easy group for Germany to progress but Switzerland and Hungary are notable for causing major upsets in recent years.

Hungary impressively recorded draws against France and Germany in the Euro 2020 edition while Switzerland knocked out France from the round of 16 of the same tournament. Both teams; although not favourites, cannot be ruled out as minnows and can upset the odds.

Germany will hope to continue their historical precedent of going to the final four of every tournament they’ve hosted, doing so in the 1974 and 2006 World Cups and the Euros 1988.

Scotland on the other hand will be making their fourth appearance at the European Championship and Steve Clark will hope his side can break the jinx of reaching the knockout stages of the tournament.

Match to watch: Germany vs Scotland

Germany will kick off the first match of the competition at the Allianz Arena in a tough game against Scotland. The four-time world champions will face a determined Scottish side who lost only one of their eight qualifying matches.

Germany holds the historical advantage, remaining unbeaten in their last eight competitive matches against Scotland.

The over 70-000 fans should give the home side the advantage but Scotland are tipped to hold their fort and ride their luck.

Group B

Group B – which has Spain, Italy, Croatia and Albania – has been tagged the ‘Group of Death’.

Spain are favourites to qualify from this group, having lost only two of the last 22 matches they’ve played in the Euros (13 wins and seven draws).

Coincidentally, the two teams that inflicted the two last two defeats to Spain are Italy and Croatia who recorded victories against Spain in the 2016 edition of the tournament. They’re now set to square off again against each other this summer and Spain will hope to continue their impressive form to reach the knockout stages. The Spaniard’s kick off their campaign on June 15th and you can buy Spain vs Croatia tickets on secondary marketplaces such as

Albania are no doubt the underdog in Group B, but they also can compete toe-to-toe with the very best.

The Kuqezinjtë’s finished top of their qualifying group ahead of Poland and the Czech Republic and will look to leave a mark in just their second-ever participation in the European Championships.

Key game: Spain vs Italy

These two sides will square off for the fifth successive time at the Euros.

La Roja created one of the most memorable finals in the history of the competition after defeating Italy 4:0 in the final of the tournament in 2012.

The Azzurri also knocked out Spain in the knockout stages of the competition when these two sides last met and the next clash could prove to be another Euro classic.

Group C

England are drawn in Group C with Denmark, Serbia and Slovenia. It is confusing which aspect to judge the Three Lions’ form heading to this tournament – whether the impressive qualifying stage, or the abysmal friendly preparatory games – but either choice leaves a big question mark, will football be coming home?

The Three Lions are hoping to be 11th-time lucky when they head to Germany for their 11th participation in the European championship. Gareth Southgate will aim for their first-ever title in this tournament but faces a daunting task against Denmark who are the dark horses, Slovenia who made an incredible statement of intent during the qualifying stages and Serbia who will eye a place in the knockout stages.

Key game: England vs Denmark

Football lovers are set for a thrilling night on 20th June where England will face Denmark on the same night Spain and Italy will knock horns.

De Rød-Hvide will look to avenge their 2:1 extra-time defeat to Southgate’s led England side in the 2020 edition of the tournament at Wembley.

Both sides had an outstanding qualifying campaign, each topping their groups. This match could be a decider on who finishes top of the group and both teams will leave it all on the pitch when they meet.

Group D

France are firmly placed as favourites to win this tournament and a relatively comfortable group that involves Netherlands, Poland and Austria should guarantee Les Bleus a place in the knockout stages.

Netherlands on the other hand will relive fond memories of their 1988 European championship win where they won the tournament in Germany. Ronald Koeman, who was part of the squad that won the last Euros for the Oranje will hope to end his side’s catastrophic outing in European competitions since reaching the last four in the 2010 and 2014 World Cup.

Ralf Ragnick is carrying out an outstanding rejuvenation of the Austrian national team and they are set to leave an undeniable mark in the competition.

Poland knows how to get results but their performances are not the most vintage. They secured qualification erratically, winning on penalties against Wales after playing 120 minutes of football without a shot on target.

France are tipped to top the group while Netherlands and Austria will slug it out for a place in the knockout stages with second place finish.

Key game: Netherlands vs France

The Red Bull Arena will host yet another Euro classic on 21 June when the Netherlands lock horns with France.

Both teams possess a plethora of emerging stars but France are currently on a much higher trajectory having reached the finals of their last three tournaments.

Didier Deschamps will look to go all the way in this tournament without any room for complacency but the Netherlands could be a huge obstacle.

The winner of this clash is tipped to stake a claim on the first spot of Group D

Group E

Group E is a relatively easy group for one of the tournament favourites, Belgium who are joined by Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia.

The Red Devils are aiming to bounce back from a catastrophic 2022 World Cup campaign where they crashed out of the group stages.

Domenico Tedesco who will become the youngest coach in this tournament has undergone a massive structural and tactical switch in the squad which was evident in their recent results where they’ve won six and drawn two of their last eight matches.

They will face a combative Romanian side that recorded the third-best defensive record in the qualifying campaign while Slovakia are the underdogs in this group having lost just two of their qualifying matches.

Ukraine on the other hand will be participating in their fourth consecutive European Championship and they’ll look to overtake their 2020 campaign where they reached the quarter-finals of the competition.

Key game: Belgium vs Romania

Romania seems to be the strongest side that can stop the Red Devils rampaging attack.

Talisman, Romelu Lukaku had a terrific qualifying campaign with 14 goals, the most by any individual and will hope to replicate his form against Romania at the RheinEnergieStadion on 22 June.

The Lupii albiți will be hoping to make a big statement in this tournament after failing to qualify for the previous one victory or a draw against Belgium will be a great way to start.

Group F

The final group will see 2016 winners, Portugal compete with Turkey, the Czech Republic and tournament debutants, Georgia.

The Selecao had an impressive qualifying campaign winning all their matches and they’re tipped to progress from their group with ease.

Turkey on the other hand will hope to replicate their 2008 campaign where they reached the semifinals of the competition while the Czech Republic who have participated in the last eight tournaments will hope to finally make a mark this time.

Georgia will be relying on starman, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia to inspire their attack and it’ll be an absolute dream for them to reach the knockout stages in their first-ever participation in the European Championship.

Key game: Portugal vs Turkey

Turkey possesses some of the most exciting young players in this tournament who are capable of matching their experienced rivals.

Portugal on the other hand will hope to continue their meteoric form to bounce back from their disastrous World Cup campaign in Qatar.

It will be an exciting match where Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to continue his record-breaking goalscoring form on the international stage.

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