Euro 2024 will be held in Germany and the draw was made with the help of Klinsmann, Zambrotta and Albertini. The famous footballers arranged the teams into groups with the assistance of a computer.
Group A: Spain, Scotland, Norway, Georgia, Cyprus
Unlucky for Kvaratskhelia, they will play against the Spaniards and Holand. Don’t forget about Scotland either; the team has become more powerful. It’s not just about Robertson and players’ experience in the English leagues. Rangers and Celtic are in the Champions League group stage and that’s experience, despite the defeats. Luis Enrique is the favourite; the next choice is Norway, not Georgia. Haaland, Odegaard and others are on their way to a major tournament for the national teams.
Group B: Netherlands, France, Ireland, Greece, Gibraltar
It is a great group, where the Irish are unlucky. The Dutch and French will take the first two places and direct tickets. Two matches between teams with such squads and histories will cause interest. We are expecting other coaches in the new year. Van Gaal might leave for health reasons after the 2022 World Cup – Louis has a severe illness, although in remission; at the same time, Zidane would be happy to replace Deschamps. There will be surprises.
Group C: Italy, England, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Malta
It is a group of death. Italy, England, Ukraine and North Macedonia are the Euro 2020 participants. Mancini has a grudge against the Macedonians, knocking out the Italians on their way to Qatar. The Ukrainians played against the Balkans and the Brits. And they did not qualify for the elite division of the Nations League, although the squad is young. As for Italy and England – they are favourites, although the opponents are tough.
Group D: Croatia, Wales, Armenia, Turkey, Latvia
Croatia is the clear favourite in the group, despite their ageing leaders. But they have plenty of talent and even more confidence. And it is sure to be an exciting battle for second place in this group, as Croatia’s status does not prevent the Turks from believing they are as good as the Welsh and Armenians.
Group E: Poland, Czech Republic, Albania, Faroe Islands, Moldova
Lewandowski will be the first, but the Czechs also have a solid centre-forward. Schick is not as good, but younger. The Poles are lucky, and there is no opponent against which you cannot play from a position of strength, especially when you have Zielinski from Napoli or Milik from Juventus on the field. If the Czechs do not shock in the matches against Albania, there will not even be a fight for second place.
Group F: Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Estonia
The Swedes only need to beat the Austrians, although it’s hard to say who’s tougher. As for Belgium, they are favourites, even if a couple of veterans are cut off after the 2022 World Cup. But who’s next? David Alaba vs Alexander Isak is the main battle in this top five. Both teams believe the draw has been kind to them.
Group G: Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Lithuania
It is a great group where everyone has a chance for points. The Serbs and Hungarians are much better than the others regarding their line-up. The lack of traditional favourites makes it easier for them to qualify for a major tournament. The Hungarians have been seen in the Nations League, while Serbia will play in the World Cup in Qatar. There are some exciting players like Szoboszlai alongside the veterans. Dominik played successfully against Celtic in the Champions League this week. And while Leipzig insists the youngster has a difficult character, his talent isn’t simple either.
Group H: Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Northern Ireland, San Marino
The Finns, Slovenians, Kazakhs and Northern Irish dream of a second line. For Kazakhstan, it would be a historic breakthrough. The Slovenes have been slowing down. The Northern Irish have already surprised the football world and can do it again. An evenly matched group, if not to pick a favourite. Denmark is good in Copenhagen, and with new talent on the way, the tiny country should go to Germany. Who will be second is unclear.
Group I: Switzerland, Israel, Romania, Kosovo, Belarus, Andorra
Here’s the hope again for everyone who isn’t Switzerland. Sommer will not even need to be shown why he can be called one of the top goalkeepers in the world right now, while Courtois has sciatica, Neuer has Bayern’s defence, and the EPL Brazilians have not decided which of them is cooler on the eve of the World Cup in Qatar. But second place could come down to Kosovo, Romania or Israel. It will be a good fight, and it’s time for Romania to get involved.
Group J: Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Liechtenstein
Bosnians against the Portuguese, have we seen that somewhere before? Perhaps, Ronaldo will fly to the capitals of the countries named above from the USA. They will be out of the group with Dalot, Cancelo, Bruno, Bernardo and Leao. The rest are dreaming of a significant breakthrough. Even Luxembourg should not be underestimated, as the Bosnians are not as powerful as they could be. Dzeko and Pjanic won’t play for everyone, and Iceland’s new generation isn’t as clear as the previous one.
Choose the most interesting groups.
All have at least one favourite, but only four out of ten companies can easily name two teams at once, seemingly giving their fans an adventure-free selection. The Irish, Ukrainians and Northern Macedonians are clearly unlucky. It is almost unreal to get out of their groups, so good are the favourites. But that’s only ten places at stake, with 24 passes to the tournament in Germany. Next will be the first and second-placed teams, and then we look back at the Nations League.
Germany got a direct pass, while the other three places will go to representatives of the Nations League divisions. The playoffs will be tricky; it’s too early to tell. One thing is clear – next year could bring a lot of great national matches. Haaland will play against the Spaniards, Benzema against Depay, and a repeat of the Euro 2020 final. Moreover, England is in crisis and Italy is angry after missing the World Cup.