Early Bold Predictions for Euro 2024

Credit: NBC News
Credit: NBC News

With the Group Stage draw complete, we’re making some early bold predictions for Euro 2024. Next summer’s European championship will come round before you know it, so we’re going early with some predictions on the bold side.

Just like we do for the Premier League, these are calls that we think are possible but go against the mainstream. The 2024 European Championship groups have been drawn, and aside from a few play-off qualifying ties, all 24 teams have been confirmed.

These are our early bold predictions for Euro 2024!

Early Bold Predictions for Euro 2024

Thanks to UEFA’s needlessly complicated qualifying format, only 21 of the 24 nations for Euro 2024 have qualified. There are play-offs to complete for the remaining three spots. We’re going with Poland, Ukraine and Kazakhstan all to qualify for Euro 2024 from their respective “pathways”.

Kazakhstan qualifying will be our first bold prediction, as this is something the Central Asian nation has never managed before. The Hawks have only been a member of UEFA since 2002 and the first European Championship they attempted to qualify in was as recent as 2008.

Image credit: Radio Free Europe

Kazakh players have had the chance to play at the European Championships before, but only as part of the Soviet Union before 1991. Kazakhstan finished third in their qualifying group, but had a chance to finish in the top two and qualify right until the final matchday.

Denmark and Slovenia have already qualified for the tournament in Germany but the Danes lost to 10-man Kazakhstan on matchday two. With Kazakhstan coming up against Greece and then either Luxembourg or Georgia in their play-off, there’s every chance a nation mostly located in Asia will make the Euros next year.

UEFA qualifying for both the European Championships and World Cup need to change, but that’s a topic for another day.

#2 – Scotland to crash out

Scotland making back-to-back Euros would’ve been a very bold prediction before a ball was kicked in qualifying. However, The Tartan Army had an excellent start to Euro 2024 qualifying, winning their first five games, including a stunning 2-0 win over Spain.

While they were humbled by Spain in the reverse leg, some are tipping the Scots to be dark horses in Euro 2024. Although, we believe that Scotland’s chances of qualifying for the knockout stage is about as realistic as Braveheart.

Image credit: STV News

A humiliating 3-1 defeat on their own patch by England in September showed the level which Scotland are at. In truth, they’re around the same level in quality as most EFL Championship sides and have overperformed at times in qualifying.

Scotland face Germany, Hungary and Switzerland and will do very well to even get a point in any of those games. Germany have been poor for a long time now, but they’re the hosts and simply have too much for Scotland.

Hungary and Switzerland are fellow plucky underdogs and the Swiss dumped out then-World champions France in Euro 2020. Hungary missed out on the knockouts in 2020, but they were drawn in the “Group of Death” alongside France, Germany and defending champions Portugal.

#3 – Italy to surprise a few

There’s just something about Italy during international tournaments. True to nature, the Italians are extremely unpredictable, either winning the whole thing, or crashing out in the groups. Sometimes, as well, they don’t even make it, as they’ve failed to make both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Reading Italy’s international tournament results is absolutely bonkers. In addition to not qualifying for the World Cup in 2018 and 2022, they also were eliminated in the group stage in 2010 and 2014. They won the whole thing in 2006, the final of which is their most recent World Cup knockout match win.

Credit: NBC News

We don’t think Italy will defend their crown, that’s a step too far for a team that only just qualified automatically ahead of Ukraine, but we do believe they’ll have a decent run into the knockouts. That won’t be easier, either, as Gli Azzurri have been drawn in the same group as Spain, Croatia and Albania.

Albania may just save Italy, though, as finishing as one of the best third-placed sides will be good enough to make the knockouts. From there, their likely round of 16 opponent would be Portugal, which would be a close contest. After that, it’d potentially get easier with probably the Netherlands in the quarter-final.

So, there’s a real case for Italy to make the semi-finals, but we’ll see how they get on in the Summer.

#4 – England to win Euro 2024

For our fourth and final prediction, we’re going bigger and bolder than ever before, as we’re tipping England to win their first-ever European Championship. The Three Lions had their best international tournament since they won the World Cup in 1966 during Euro 2020, reaching the final.

Only penalties denied Gareth Southgate’s men from lifting the trophy at Wembley in the summer of 2021, but we believe they’ve got a chance of going one better in 2024. On paper, England have one of the best teams in Europe and the world and are without a doubt one of the favourites heading to Germany.

England has arguably the most complete forward in the world in Harry Kane with the likes of Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and the incredible Jude Bellingham supplying the Bayern striker with bags of chances. John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold would also walk into any other national team in the world.

England’s worst enemy, though, is often themselves, as Gareth Southgate’s selections can leave much to be desired. His loyalty to certain players like Jordan Pickford, Kalvin Phillips and Harry Maguire is sometimes baffling, but those players have rarely let their national side down.

If we’re being totally honest, though, France are the most likely winners in our book, but predicting Les Blues to win isn’t exactly bold. Especially since they were also favourites in 2016 and 2020 and missed out on both occasions.

You could definitely make the case that a first European crown for France since 2000 is overdue.

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