Euro 2024 preview: contenders, dark horses, breakout stars and more!

The European Championships kick off on Friday. Held every four years, the World Cup-style tournament pits the top teams in Europe against each other, creating one of the most prestigious and entertaining competitions in international soccer.

While the 2020 tournament was hosted across Europe in eleven different cities, 2024 returns to the traditional host nation format. Germany will host all the games in ten different stadiums across the country, with the final set for Sunday, July 14 at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

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Ben Wright and Valair Shabilla break down all 24 teams, previewing the group stages, predicting starting XIs for each team, and picking which teams will advance to the Round of 16. After you’re done reading, make your picks in our Euro 2024 Predictor Challenge to compete with nearly 200 readers to pick the perfect bracket.

Let’s dive in!

Format

Euro 2024 will follow the same format as the 2016 and 2020 editions. 24 teams are split into six groups of four teams. The group stage is a traditional round robin format; each team will play the other three sides in the group once. A win is worth three points, a draw gets a single point, and a loss is worth zero.

At the end of the group stage, the top two teams from each group automatically advance to the knockout rounds, while the four third-placed sides with the best record will also advance.


Group A

GERMANY 🇩🇪 (FIFA Ranking: 16)

The outlook: Germany head into the Euros after three disastrous performances in their last three major tournaments. They failed to advance from the group stage in the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, and were eliminated by England in the Round of 16 at Euro 2020.

They qualified for 2024 as hosts, avoiding the qualifying process but also missing out on valuable competitive matches, and they finished 10th in the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League. The talent on this roster is obvious, but they head into the Euros with nearly a decade of underperforming and a lot to prove under manager Julian Nagelsman.

Key players: Manuel Neuer (goalkeeper, Bayern Munich), Tony Kroos (midfielder, Real Madrid), Kai Havertz (forward, Arsenal), Jamal Musiala (midfielder, Bayern Munich), İlkay Gündoğan (midfielder, Barcelona)

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Kimmich, Tah, Rüdiger, Mittelstädt; Andrich, Kroos; Musiala, Gündoğan, Wirtz; Havertz

Predicted group finish: 1st

HUNGARY 🇭🇺 (FIFA Ranking: 26)

The outlook: Hungary breezed through qualifying (albeit in one of the easier groups), finishing ahead of Serbia with five wins and three draws from their eight matches. After not qualifying for the Euros from 1976-2012, they advanced to the quarterfinals in 2012 and despite an upset draw with France in 2020, they didn’t make it past the group stage.

They’ve been one of the stories of the UEFA Nations League, though. In 2022 they were drawn into a group of death with Italy, Germany and England. They beat England twice, relegating them, and grabbed a shock 1-0 win over Germany to finish second in their group.

They have some intriguing talent in their squad and will have the support of an energetic fanbase, but there are also some of their obvious limitations. They’re the heavy underdogs in Group A, but they’ve made a habit of getting surprising results in the last several years.

Key players: Willi Orbán (defender, RB Leipzig), Ádám Nagy (midfielder, Spezia), Dominik Szoboszlai (midfielder, Liverpool), Dániel Gazdag (midfielder, Philadelphia Union)

Predicted XI (5-2-3): Gulácsi; Kerkez, Szalai, Lang, Orbán, Négo; Styles, Nagy; Sallai, Varga, Szoboszlai

Predicted group finish: 2nd

Odds to win: +8000

Odds to win: +500

SCOTLAND 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 (FIFA Ranking: 39)

The outlook: The lowest-ranked team in Group A, Scotland were impressive in qualifying. They finished behind Spain in their group, finishing with 17 points from their eight matches and losing just once, picking up a marquee 2-0 win over Spain in the process.

While they don’t have the top-end talent of the best teams at the tournament, their squad is full of regulars at the Premier League level and head coach Steve Clark has made them tough to beat. Scott McTominay finished joint-fourth top scorer in qualifying with seven goals, and their defense was one of the better units in qualifying. They’re more than capable of grinding out a trip to the Round of 16 if they can stay healthy.

Key players: Andrew Robertson (defender, Liverpool), Scott McTominay (midfielder, Manchester United), John McGinn (midfielder, Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (midfielder, Celtic), Billy Gilmour (midfielder, Brighton & Hove Albion), Ché Adams (forward, Southampton)

Predicted XI (3-4-2-1): Gunn; Porteous, Hendry, Tierney; Ralston, McGregor, Gilmour, Robertson; McGinn, McTominay; Adams

Predicted group finish: 3rd

Odds to win: +10000

SWITZERLAND 🇨🇭 (FIFA Ranking: 19)

The outlook: Switzerland always feels like a team that could make a run, but historically they’ve never quite lived up to their perennial dark horse status. Their 2020 run to the quarterfinals was their best-ever finish at a Euros.

Under head coach Murat Yakin, they only won four of their 10 qualifying matches, finishing runners-up to Romania in Group I. They have an established veteran group, but the core players in this squad may be just past their prime. There’s also been some public frustration with Yakin from the players, especially regarding his reactive and back-foot style of play. Switzerland could cause problems, but they also seem equally primed for a disaster.

Key players: Yan Sommer (goalkeeper, Inter Milan), Manuel Akanji (defender, Manchester City), Breel Embolo (forward, Monaco), Granit Xhaha (midfielder, Bayer Leverkusen), Xherdan Shaquiri (midfielder, Chicago Fire)

Predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Sommer; Schär, Akanji, Elvedi; Widmer, Xhaka, Freuler, Rodriguez; Shaqiri; Vargas, Embolo

Predicted group finish: 4th

Odds to win: +5000


Group B

SPAIN 🇪🇸 (FIFA Ranking: 8)

The outlook: It’s hard to believe that it has been 12 years since Spain won a major tournament. The team of the late 2000’s/early 2010’s will go down as one of the best in soccer history. Nevertheless, Spain are in a new era now and they have a lot to prove.

After another disappointing World Cup campaign, Spain hired Luis de la Fuente as the new head coach. While he lacks the club experience, he has been involved with the Spanish national teams since 2013. De la Fuente and Spain have put together an impressive run thus far, including winning the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League. Spain defeated Italy and Croatia in the semi-final and final respectively. Ironically, all three are in this group.

Spain enter the tournament with a healthy mix of experienced and young players. Their success hinges on the experienced players performing well to allow young players to burst into the scene.

Key players:  Unai Simón (goalkeeper, Athletic Bilbao), Dani Carvajal (defender, Real Madrid), Rodri (midfielder, Manchester City), Álvaro Morata (forward, Atletico Madrid), Lamine Yamal (forward, Barcelona)

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Simón; Carvajal, Le Normand, Laporte, Grimaldo; Rodri, Olmo, Ruiz; Yamal, Williams, Morata

Predicted group finish: 1st

Odds to win: +800

ITALY 🇮🇹 (FIFA Ranking: 9)

The outlook: Italy’s Euro 2020 celebration didn’t last as long as they anticipated after a second consecutive failure to qualify to the World Cup. Since then, “Gli Azzurri” have made a lot of changes to the squad, coaching and playstyle.

Italy is not a favorite to win the Euros, but that has never seemed to bother them. They have a squad with mostly players in their prime and playing at the highest level of soccer. There are still question marks all around the pitch, but Italy seem ready to move to this younger era of their national team.

Key players: Gianluigi Donnarumma (goalkeeper, PSG), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (defender, Napoli), Alessandro Bastoni (defender, Inter Milan), Nicolò Barella (midfielder, Inter Milan), Federico Chiesa (Forward, Juventus)

Predicted XI (5-2-3): Donnarumma, Cambiaso, Di Lorenzo, Buongiorno, Bastoni, Dimarco, Barella, Jorginho, Chiesa, Pellegrini, Scamacca

Predicted group finish: 2nd

Odds to win: +1600

Predicted group finish: 3rd

CROATIA 🇭🇷 (FIFA Ranking: 10)

The outlook: One has to wonder if Croatia’s dream era under Zlatko Dalić is coming to an end. Following a World Cup final in 2018 with a World Cup semi-final in 2022, is an incredible achievement for any nation, let alone one with a population of less than four million.

Croatia’s World Cup success never seems to translate into European success, as they have yet to win a knockout round match in the Euros. 38-year-old Ballon d’Or winner, Luka Modrić, still plays alongside a few other top talents. However, in order to have a successful campaign, Croatia cannot just depend on the bigger names, the lesser known players will need to make an impact as well.

Key players: Joško Gvardiol (defender, Manchester City), Mateo Kovačić (midfielder, Manchester City), Luka Modrić (midfielder, Real Madrid), Marcelo Brozović (midfielder, Al-Nasser), Ivan Perišić (midfielder, Hajduk Split)

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Livaković; Stanisić, Šutalo, Erlić, Gvardiol; Kovačić, Brozović, Modrić; Kramarić, Perišić, Petković

Odds to win: +3300

ALBANIA 🇦🇱 (FIFA Ranking: 66)

The outlook: Albania are undoubtedly the underdogs in Group B, aka the group of death. Former Arsenal and Barcelona player, Sylvinho, is the head coach, while former Manchester City player, Pablo Zabaleta, serves as an assistant.

Things seem to be going well for the “red and blacks” under Sylvinho. They surprisingly topped their qualifying group despite facing European mainstays Czech Republic and Poland. In their second Euros appearance, getting any result from this group might just count as success for Albania. 

Key players: Etrit Berisha (goalkeeper, Empoli), Berat Djimsiti (defender, Atalanta) Kristjan Asllani (midfielder, Inter Milan), Nedim Bajrami (midfielder, Sassuolo), Armando Broja (forward, Fulham – On loan from Chelsea)

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Berisha. Hysaj, Ismajli, Djimsiti, Mitaj, Asllani, Ramadani, Bajrami, Asani, Seferi, Broja

Predicted group finish: 4th

Odds to win: +30000


Group C

ENGLAND 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (FIFA Ranking: 4)

The outlook: The Three Lions head to Germany as one of the favorites to win the tournament, and they certainly have one of the more exciting squads in world football. Harry Kane remains one of the sport’s elite goalscorers, while Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Cole Palmer are some of the most exciting young attackers in the game today.

Gareth Southgate has earned plenty of criticism, though, for a ponderous approach and less-than-exciting tactics, but his record at major tournaments has been mostly good. England lost in penalties to Italy in Euro 2020 and lost to eventual champions France at the 2022 World Cup.

England will be one of the most under-presser squads at the tournament, with an increased weight of expectations adding onto the pressure created by the volatile English media, but if they’re able to drown out the noise and play to their potential, they should be one of the two or three best sides at the tournament.

Key players: Kyle Walker (defender, Manchester City), Declan Rice (midfielder, Arsenal), Bukayo Saka (forward, Arsenal), Harry Kane (forward, Bayern Munich), Jude Bellingham (midfielder, Real Madrid)

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Shaw, Guéhi, Stones, Walker; Rice, Alexander-Arnold; Foden, Bellingham, Saka; Kane

Predicted group finish: 1st

Odds to win: +275

SERBIA 🇷🇸 (FIFA Ranking: 33)

The outlook: Serbia come into the Euros in good goal-scoring form, finding the net in the last 22 matches. As expected, they’re a hard-nosed, dominant aerial side with a physically imposing front line, but they have real quality in midfield. Captain and Fenerbahçe playmaker Dušan Tadić can be extremely dangerous, and next to him Sergej Milinković-Savić is a well-rounded player.

Their Achilles heel is defense. They conceded eight goals in their three group games at the 2022 World Cup, and while their attack was able to find the net, the hole was too big to climb out of. A result against England in their opening match would go a long way, but keeping things clean at the back against Denmark and Slovenia should give them a real shot at advancing.

Key players: Đorđe Petrović (goalkeeper, Chelsea), Nemanja Gudelj (defender, Sevilla), Duśan Vlahović (forward, Juventus), Aleksandar Mitrović (forward, Al Hilal), Dušan Tadić (midfielder, Fenerbahçe), Sergej Milinković-Savić (midfielder, Al Hilal)

Predicted XI (3-5-2): Petrović; Pavlović, Veljković, Milenković; Kostić, Milinković-Savić, Tadić, Lukić, Živković; Mitrović, Vlahović

Predicted group finish: 3rd

Odds to win: +5000

DENMARK 🇩🇰 (FIFA Ranking: 21)

The outlook: Denmark head into Group C looking to avenge their Round of 16 loss to England in 2020. They have a good mix of emerging talent and veteran leadership, with a theoretically capable starting lineup and a deep bench. They’ve been a popular dark horse choice for the last several tournaments, but failed to back that up in the 2022 World Cup with an early exit after going winless in their group.

Former North Florida Ospreys defender Kasper Hjulmand is in charge of the squad. He’ll have a difficult job getting the best of some of the bigger names in the squad like Eriksen, Højbjerg and Damsgard, who haven’t played consistently with their clubs this season. On paper this squad looks great; in practice they look much weaker. They should have enough to advance, either as the group winner or one of the top third-place teams.

Key players: Kasper Schmeicel (goalkeeper, Anderlecht), Andreas Christensen (defender, Barcelona), Rasmus Højlund (forward, Manchester United), Christian Eriksen (midfielder, Manchester United), Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (midfielder, Tottenham Hotspur)

Predicted XI (3-5-2): Schmeicel; Kjær, Christensen, Andersen; Kristiansen, Delaney, Eriksen, Højbjerg, Mæhle; Damsgard, Højlund

Predicted group finish: 3rd

Odds to win: +4000

SLOVENIA 🇸🇮 (FIFA Ranking: 57)

The outlook: Slovenia are back in the Euros for the first time in 24 years, thanks to a strong qualifying campaign led by returning manager Matjaz Kek. And while they’re one of the lowest-ranked sides in the tournament, according to FIFA, they have several recognizable names in the squad.

Goalkeeper Jan Oblak has been one of the best in Europe for a decade now, and striker Benjamin Šeško is one of the most in-demand young players in Europe, linked with a move to Manchester United and other giants this summer. Under Kek, Slovenia set up in a compact 4-4-2, aiming to limit space for their opponents and hit in transition. While they don’t have the top talent to be a contender or even a dark horse, they can certainly spoil the Euros for a team like England or Denmark if they’re not taken seriously.

Key players: Ján Oblak (goalkeeper, Atletico Madrid), Benjamin Šeško (forward, RB Leipzig), Benjamin Verbić (midfielder, Panthinaikos), Jasmin Kurtić (midfielder, Südtirol)

Predicted XI (4-4-2): Oblak; Janža, Bijol, Blažič, Karničnik; Lovrić, Elšnik, Čerin, Stojanović; Šeško, Vipotnik

Predicted group finish: 4th

Odds to win: +20000


Group D

FRANCE 🇫🇷 (FIFA Ranking: 2)

The outlook: France are the favorites to win this tournament, there is a sense of inevitability with them ever since Didier Deschamps took charge. To be fair, they have been one of the favorites for every tournament they’ve participated in the last 30 years.

The French well of talent seems to be in great shape. Despite losing some players to retirement, “Les Bleus” are stacked with stars, enough to probably fill two competitive teams. Ironically, they’re one of two teams at the Euros to only name 25 players to their tournament roster, instead of the allowed 26. 

Their road to success isn’t easy, but not many will bet against them.

Key players:  Théo Hernandez (defender, AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (midfielder, Atletico Madrid), Aurélien Tchouaméni (midfielder, Real Madrid), Ousmane Dembélé (forward, PSG), Kylian Mbappé (forward, Real Madrid)

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Maignan; Kounde, Konate, Upamecano, Hernandez; Tchouameni, Griezmann, Rabiot; Dembele, Thuram, Mbappe

Predicted group finish: 1st

Odds to win: +350

NETHERLANDS 🇳🇱 (FIFA Ranking: 7)

The outlook: The Netherlands are the definition of always a bridesmaid, never the bride (except that one time in ‘88). Despite producing a good portion of soccer’s greatest talents, the “Oranje” seem to always struggle to finish the job.

Their qualifying campaign wasn’t as straightforward as they have hoped. They didn’t play the best soccer and lost twice to France, who they can’t seem to separate from. All in all, the Dutch under Ronald Koeman seem to have found more questions than answers. With all that being said, they certainly have enough talent to leave a mark on the tournament.

Key players: Virgil van Dijk (defender, Liverpool), Frankie de Jong (midfielder, Barcelona), Xavi Simons (forward, PSV – On loan from PSG), Memphis Depay (forward, Atletico Madrid), Cody Gakpo (forward, Liverpool)

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Verbruggen; Dumfries, de Ligt, Van Dijk, Ake; Reijnders, Schouten, Veerman; Simons, Depay, Gakpo 

Predicted group finish: 2nd

Odds to win: +1800

AUSTRIA 🇦🇹 (FIFA Ranking: 25)

The outlook: Ralf Rangnick’s Austria seem to be improving and impressing every time they take the pitch. They have held their own, and in some cases, beaten soccer powerhouses. They finished the qualifiers in second place, only a point behind Belgium.

With a clear playstyle and a good crop of young players, Austria’s quality might shock some viewers. With most third placed teams qualifying to the knockout road, they have a shot of making it out of the group despite facing two giants. Unfortunately for “Das Team,”  captain David Alaba is sidelined due to an injury.

Key players: Stefan Posch (defender, Bologna), Marcel Sabitzer (midfielder, Liverpool), Florian Grillitsch (midfielder, Hoffenheim), Konrad Laimer (midfielder, Bayern Munich), Marko Arnautovic (forward, Bologna)

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Pentz; Mwene, Danso, Wober, Posch; Seiwald, Laimer; Sabitzer, Schmid, Baumgarter; Gregoritsch

Predicted group finish: 3rd

Odds to win: +5000

POLAND 🇵🇱 (FIFA Ranking: 28)

The outlook: Poland have been a consistent participant in recent major tournaments, but you’d have to go back pretty far to find the last time they posed any threat to the big soccer powers.

Following the 2022 World Cup, Poland hired experienced manager Fernando Santos to lead the national team. Unfortunately for the “Eagles,” things didn’t work out and a coaching change was necessary mid-qualifiers. Michał Probierz has since taken over and things have improved under his leadership, but Poland still have a lot to prove.

Key players: Wojciech Szczęsny (goalkeeper, Juventus), Jakub Kiwior (defender, Arsenal), Piotr Zielinski (midfielder, Napoli), Karol Świderski (forward, Hellas Verona), Robert Lewandowski (forward, Barcelona)

Predicted XI (5-3-2): Szczęsny; Frankowski, Bednarek, Dawidowicz, Kiwior, Zalewski; Slisz, Moder, Zielinski; Lewandowski, Swiderski

Predicted group finish: 4th

Odds to win: +10000


Group E

BELGIUM 🇧🇪 (FIFA Ranking: 3)

The outlook: Belgium are back with another highly rated, ultra talented squad, but also carry a reputation of underperforming on the biggest stages. Roberto Martinez is out as manager, and former RB Leipzig manager Domenico Todesco has come in to try and finally get the Red Devils over the hump.

There are plenty of familiar faces in the squad, but there’s also been an influx of players as many of the older core members of the team have moved on. Most of these new players are in their prime, finally with a chance to play for the national team. A lot has been talked about Belgium’s “golden generation” for the last few tournaments, but their key players should still have a couple years left at the top level, potentially with one last run at the 2026 World Cup. 

Belgium are one of the favorites, especially out of one of the weaker groups at the Euros. They blew through qualifying, with an 40-match unbeaten run in World Cup and European qualifiers that extends back to 2014. Romelu Lukaku was the top scorer in Euro 2024 qualifying, scoring 14 goals in eight games. Belgium’s all-time leading goalscorer, he’s just one goal away from moving into the top three ever at the European Championships.

Also, their away jerseys are inspired by the Tintin comics. That’s awesome.

Key players: Kevin De Bruyne (midfielder, Manchester City), Leandro Trossard (midfielder, Arsenal), Romelu Lukaku (forward, Roma), Jérémy Doku (forward, Manchester City)

Predicted XI (3-4-3): Casteels; Theate, Vertonghen, Faes, Castagne; Tielemans, De Bruyne, Onana; Doku, Lukaku, Trossard

Predicted group finish: 1st

Odds to win: +1800

UKRAINE ​​🇺🇦 (FIFA Ranking: 22)

The outlook: Ukraine qualified for the European Championships via the playoff, finishing third in a really tough Group C behind England and Italy. This is their fourth-consecutive appearance at the Euros, and they made it to the quarterfinals last go-round before losing 4-0 to England.

This is not a side to be slept on. They have a good mix of top-level talent to sprinkle into a really hard-working and experienced team, with plenty of young players stepping up to contribute to the national team. They’re a strong defensive side and have legitimately one of the best ‘keepers at the tournament in Real Madrid’s Andriy Lunin. With only Belgium as a real challenger in Group E, they should be a lock for the Round of 16.

Key players: Andriy Lunin (goalkeeper, Real Madrid), Andriy Yarmolenko (winger, Dynamo Kyiv), Mykhaylo Mudryk (winger, Chelsea), Arten Dovbyk (forward, Girona), Illya Zibarnyi (defender, Bournemouth), Oleksander Zinchenko (midfielder/defender, Arsenal)

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Lunin; Mykolenko, Matviyenko, Zibarnyi, Konoplia; Zinchenko, Stepanenko; Mudryk, Sudakov, Tsygankov; Dovbyk

Predicted group finish: 2nd

Odds to win: +10000

ROMANIA ​​🇷🇴 (FIFA Ranking: 46)

The outlook: Romania haven’t made it out of a group stage since 2000, but their elite defense could be enough to see them advance to the Round of 16 for the first time in 24 years. They conceded just five goals in qualifying, taking 22 points from 10 matches to finish ahead of Switzerland and qualify automatically. Only France and Portugal were better defensively during qualifying.

They only have a few players plying their trade at the very top levels – Radu Drăgușin at Tottenham and Horațiu Moldovan at Atlético Madrid being the standouts – but this team plays very much more than the sum of their parts. Manager Edward Iordănescu has turned this into a very pragmatic, structured team that may not have the elite talent of previous generations, but certainly have the ability to frustrate opposing teams and go on a run. In a lot of ways they seem like a team built for tournament play.

Key players: Horațiu Moldovan (goalkeeper, Atletico Madrid), Andrei Rațiu (defender, Rayo Vallecano), Radu Drăgușin (defender, Tottenham Hotspur), Marius Marin (midfielder, Pisa), George Pușcaș (forward, Bari), Ianis Hagi (midfielder, Alavés) Nicolae Stanciu (midfielder, Damac)

Predicted XI (4-1-4-1): Moldovan; Bancu, Burcǎ, Drǎguşin, Rațiu; Marin; Coman, Cicâldǎu, Hagi, Stanciu; Puşcaş

Predicted group finish: 3rd

Odds to win: +15000

SLOVAKIA 🇸🇰​ (FIFA Ranking: 48)

The outlook: Slovakia lost just twice in their qualifying campaign, but both losses came against Portugal, the only team they played who could remotely be classed in the top in Europe. 

While they have some players at major clubs around Europe, Slovakia have never been able to translate individual talent into collective team success, and Italian manager Fransisco Calzono (who is simultaneously coaching both Slovakia and Napoli) has a difficult test facing Belgium in their first match. A loss would put them on the back foot, and playing their most winnable game against Romania last in their group makes them look even more like a longshot to advance.

Key players: Martin Dúbravka (goalkeeper, Newcastle United), Ondrej Duda (midfielder, Hellas Verona), Róbert Boženík (forward, Boavista), Milan Škriniar (defender, Paris Saint-Germain), Stanislav Lobotka (midfielder, Napoli)

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Dúbravka; Hanko, Škriniar, Gyömbér, Pekarík; Duda, Lobotka, Kucka; Haraslín, Boženík, Schranz

Predicted group finish: 4thOdds to win: +30000

Group F

PORTUGAL 🇵🇹 (FIFA Ranking: 6)

The outlook: Saying Portugal breezed through qualifying would be an understatement. Roberto Martinez men won all 10 of their games and only conceded twice in the entire campaign.

Martinez, who’s very familiar with golden generations (see Belgium), seems to have stumbled upon another one. This Portugal squad is one of the deepest in the tournament and definitely has what it takes to go the distance. 

Outside of the qualifiers, Portugal lost two friendlies to Slovenia and Croatia respectively. While morale is low, with all the stars in the Portuguese squad, the expectations are still very high.

Key players:  Ruben Dias (defender, Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (midfielder, Manchester United), Rafael Leao (forward, AC Milan), Cristiano Ronaldo (forward, Al-Nassr)

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Costa; Dalot, Dias, Inacio, Mendes; Vitinha, Palhinha; Silva, Fernandes, Leao; Ronaldo 

Predicted group finish: 1st

Odds to win: +800

TÜRKİYE 🇹🇷 (FIFA Ranking: 40)

The outlook: Türkiye had a successful qualifying campaign under head coach, Vincenzo Montella, including a historic away win against Croatia. Since then, things haven’t looked good for the “Crescent-Stars,” they’ve lost three out of their four friendlies and drawn the other one.

However, there’s undeniable talent in this Turkish side, with young players like Real Madrid’s Arda Güler, Juventus’s Kenan Yıldız and Beşiktaş’s Semih Kılıçsoy beginning to make a name for themselves. They also have a number of players in Europe’s top leagues, not to mention their strong domestic league.

A big positive for Türkiye is the tournament’s location. With over one million Turkish nationals spread across Germany, these games might just feel like home matches.

Key players: Mehmet Zeki Celik (defender, Roma), Hakan Calhanoglu (midfielder, Inter Milan), Salih Ozcan (midfielder, Borussia Dortmund), Arda Guler (midfielder, Real Madrid), Kenan Yildiz (forward, Juventus)

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Çakır; Çelik, Akaydin, Bardakcı, Müldür; Çalhanoğlu, Özcan; Kahveci, Güler, Aktürkoğlu; Yıldız

Predicted group finish: 2nd

Odds to win: +5000

CZECHIA 🇨🇿 (FIFA Ranking: 36)

The outlook: Czech Republic are a consistent Euros team – they’ve qualified for every tournament since their independence as a nation. They have a couple of deep runs and historic results to show for it as well.

Immediately following their qualification, head coach Jaroslav Šilhavý decided to step down. Ivan Hasek was brought in to replace him, and the hire made sense considering his familiarity with the federation. He’s also been in similar situations previously, and is a steadying hand.

Hasek and the Czech Republic have won all four games leading up to the tournament, albeit against inferior opposition. While they lack big stars like previous Czechian teams, they have been able to get results. With the level of competition in Group F, they should be looking to advance to the knockout stage.

Key players: Ladislav Krejčí (defender, Sparta Prague), Vladimír Coufal (defender, West Ham), Tomáš Souček (midfielder, West Ham), Antonín Barák (midfielder, Fiorentina), Patrik Schick (forward, Bayer Leverkusen)

Predicted XI (3-4-3): Stanek; Holes, Hranac, Krejci; Coufal, Souceck, Hlozek, Doudera; Barak, Kuchta, Schick

Predicted group finish: 3rd

Odds to win: +10000

GEORGIA 🇬🇪 (FIFA Ranking: 75)

The outlook: After getting really close to Euro 2020, but ultimately failing to qualify, Georgia have finally qualified for their first major tournament. They are the lowest ranked team in the competition, and while they are happy to be here, they’ll be dreaming of advancing out of the group stage.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is undoubtedly the biggest Georgian star, not just in current times, but in history. Alongside him is a great generation of talents spread across Europe’s top teams as well as other places in the world. Atlanta United midfielder Saba Lobzhanidze is an example of that.

Key players: Giorgi Mamardashvili (goalkeeper, Valencia), Zuriko Davitashvili (midfielder, Bordeaux), Giorgi Chakvetadze (midfielder, Watford), Georges Mikautadze (forward, Ajax), Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (forward, Napoli)

Predicted XI (5-3-2): Mamardashvili; Kakabadze, Gvelesiani, Kashia, Dvali, Shengelia; Kochorashvili, Kiterishvili, Chakavetadze; Mikautadze, Kvaratskhelia

Predicted group finish: 4th

Odds to win: +50000


Broadway Sports predicts

Chris Ivey

Semifinalists: England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 vs. France🇫🇷, Germany🇩🇪 vs. Netherlands🇳🇱
Winner: France🇫🇷
Dark horse: Denmark🇩🇰
Golden Boot: Kylian Mbappé🇫🇷
Breakout player: Xavi Simons🇳🇱
Games to watch: Serbia🇷🇸 vs England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (Sunday, June 16, 2:00 pm CT, FOX)

Valair Shabilla

Semifinalists:  England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 vs France🇫🇷, Germany🇩🇪 vs Portugal🇵🇹
Winner: France🇫🇷
Dark horse: Denmark🇩🇰
Golden Boot: Kylian Mbappé🇫🇷
Breakout player: Jamal Musiala 🇩🇪
Games to watch: Italy🇮🇹 vs Spain🇪🇸 (Thursday, June 20, 2 pm CT, FOX) Netherlands🇳🇱 vs France🇫🇷 (Friday, June 21, 2:00 pm CT, FOX)

Ronan Briscoe

Semifinalists: England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 vs France🇫🇷, Netherlands🇳🇱 vs Spain🇪🇸
Winner: England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
Dark horse: Croatia🇭🇷
Golden Boot: Kylian Mbappé🇫🇷
Breakout player: Lamine Yamal🇪🇸
Games to watch: Italy🇮🇹 vs Croatia🇭🇷, Scotland🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 vs Switzerland🇨🇭

Jeff Remlinger

Semifinalists: England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 vs Belgium🇧🇪, Germany🇩🇪 vs Türkiye🇹🇷
Winner: England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
Dark horse: Türkiye🇹🇷
Golden Boot: Harry Kane🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
Breakout player: Arda Güler🇹🇷
Games to watch: There are legitimately 7-8 countries with a chance to win this year. The quarterfinals and beyond will be appointment television

Ben Wright

Semifinalists: England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 vs France🇫🇷, Germany🇩🇪 vs Ukraine🇺🇦
Winner: England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
Dark horse: Ukraine🇺🇦
Golden Boot: Harry Kane🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
Breakout player: Kobbie Mainoo🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
Games to watch: Germany🇩🇪 vs Scotland🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 (Friday, June 14, 2:00 pm CT, FOX), Türkiye🇹🇷 vs Portugal🇵🇹 (Saturday, June 22, 11:00 pm CT, FOX)

How to watch

29 matches will be shown on FOX, while 17 will air on FS1. A select five matches are exclusively shown on Fubo TV.

Predictor challenge

Make your own picks in our FotMob Predictor challenge. Sign up for our Euro 2024 and Copa América groups here!

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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