My predictions for the Euro 2024 group stage

My predictions for the Euro 2024 group stage

Starting in mid-June of 2024, the best national teams of Europe will face off to claim the grand title of the Euro ’24 and be crowned king of Europe. With the addition of young talent and the departure of older legends, the tournament is bound to be interesting. It will be truly interesting to see how the playing field will either be leveled or dominated.

Group A

  • Germany
  • Scotland
  • Hungary
  • Switzerland

My prediction is for Germany to top this group; there’s not much to say otherwise. The talent that Germany possesses is incomparable against the other teams listed for numerous reasons. Under Germany, I’ll take Switzerland in the second-place position because of their talent in the goalkeeping scene and in the midfield. Besides Germany and most likely Switzerland, I’m not sure any other team can arise with their current squads to make a run for a spot in the knockout rounds. I can see Hungary giving Switzerland a run for their money in a few unlikely scenarios; however, at the end of the day, I believe the two teams that will have to go home will be Hungary and Scotland.

Group B

  • Spain
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Albania

Group B is easily one of the more talented groups in this entire bracket. Three major powerhouse teams will fight for two guaranteed spots in the next round: Spain, Croatia, and Italy. I’ll get it out of the way now by saying that Albania is almost guaranteed not to make it past this stacked group. If, in the off-chance, they somehow win or tie a match, one to three points will do little in a group of this talent magnitude. On the flip side, I have Spain taking one of the two spots that advance. With this much talent in one group, it is hard to say how teams end up, but I believe Spain has the younger star power to make the push for the knockout round. Between Croatia and Italy, it is a complete toss-up. Both teams possess their own style of play that works wonders against all types of formations and strategies. Croatia has made final-four appearances in the last two World Cups, while Italy won the Euro not too long ago. To pick either of these teams to move on would have to be a personal opinion.

Group C

  • Slovenia
  • Denmark
  • Serbia
  • England

Here in Group C, we have a situation similar to Group A; there is one standout team with two mediocre teams and one unfortunate team. The team that shall reign over Group C is England. England has been stellar year after year in international play and will once again prove that point in June. I have England taking that top spot because of their continuous dominance against world-class teams. Taking the second spot, I have either Denmark or Serbia. However, Denmark pursues me just a bit more. Competing and holding their own against multiple great teams is the selling point of Denmark. Even though they don’t achieve the greatest results against top teams, matching up with teams like Serbia and Slovenia should give them the edge to gain enough points and move on.

Group D

  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • France

I’ll give credit to Austria if they somehow make it out of this group alive. Group D will for sure be topped by either France or the Netherlands, both of which dominate on the world stage respectively. I will be interested to see who walks away with the win in the head-to-head matchup between the two squads; however, I would have to give the edge to France for a couple of reasons. For instance, France contains Kylian Mbappe, arguably one of the most dominant players of the current era. Containing that much speed and skill on your attacking line is a force almost impossible to contain, making a defender like Virgil Van Dyke have to play conservatively all game. Plus, France has consistently traveled further in the World Cup and lifted the trophy back in 2018.

Group E

  • Belgium
  • Slovakia
  • Romania¬†

Despite Belgium’s recent World Cup struggles, they should stand atop this group when the matches are all said and done. Containing a killer midfield, Belgium moves the ball fluidly from their defense to their offense in menacing speed. The only catch is making sure all players are healthy and the entire team is on the same page. With an older team, there are some disadvantages where players cannot stay healthy, but the soccer IQ is phenomenal. Romania and Slovakia will fight for the remaining spot behind Belgium. Neither team had made a big name for themselves, and advancing onto the knockout stage would surely do the trick. Going into the matches for both of these teams, the defense will be the name of the game. The team that moves on will most likely have a better goal differential, which illustrates the importance of having a killer defense.

Group F

  • Turkey
  • Portugal
  • Czechia

Atop this group will be Portugal and superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. My guess is that this is going to be Ronaldo’s last go-around with the Euro, so the stakes are high for this Portuguese team. Having performed above but not beyond, this Portugal squad should have no trouble sliding past into the knockout stage. However, that is when things start to get difficult due to a lack of consistency. Like Group E, either of the other two teams will have to make a move in order to gain a chance at glory. Again, neither of these teams had made a substantial name for themselves yet, but this could be their golden ticket to doing so. Unlike the first three groups, this group only contains three teams, meaning one has to go home. If I had to make a strong guess of who would take the second spot under Portugal, I would have to go with the Czechs due to their location. We notice that more central European countries perform better overall, and Czechia has to be in the heart of Europe. I’m only saying this because play style tends to be influential in those parts of Europe.

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  • M

    Matthew TaylorFeb 20, 2024 at 12:56 PM

    I’m not sure that Germany will top Group A. Their recent form in international tournaments isn’t very good and all three of the other teams in the group have qualities that can challenge Germany for the top two spots. I also think that you underestimate the attacking brilliance that Scotland has with McTominay and McGinn.

  • J

    Jackson TraughberDec 13, 2023 at 10:42 AM

    another banger story from Banfield