Analysis of the draw for the European Championship: Spain, Italy, Croatia in the group of death, France and the Netherlands meet again
The draw for the group stage of the Euro 2024 tournament in Germany has ended, with a total of 24 teams participating, with 20 teams, including defending champions Italy, already qualifying, and 12 teams competing for the final three qualification spots through the play-offs. The draw will see the 24 teams split into six groups, with Spain, Italy and Croatia forming the Super Group of Death, while France and the Netherlands will be drawn in the same group again after qualifying.
The four teams in Group A of the play-offs are Poland, Wales, Estonia and Finland, with the winner of Poland and Estonia facing the winner of Wales and Finland. The four teams in Group B of the play-offs are Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Iceland, with the winner of Israel and Iceland facing the winner of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ukraine. The four teams in Group C of the play-offs are Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan and Luxembourg, with the winner of Georgia and Luxembourg facing the winner of Greece and Kazakhstan.
Group A: Germany, Hungary, Scotland, Switzerland. The host Germany undoubtedly drew a good sign, in terms of strength, Hungary, Scotland and Switzerland are not the strongest teams in each bracket, both in terms of the team's past record and the strength of the players, the German team has a clear advantage. It's just that the strength of the German team is not what it used to be, the current world ranking is only 16th, only two places higher than the Swiss team (18th), facing the three teams from the qualifiers, the German team is not sure of winning, I don't know if the host advantage can help the German team successfully fight out of the encirclement.
Projected group standings: Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and Scotland.
Group B: Spain, Albania, Croatia, Italy. Group B will undoubtedly be the most eye-catching group of this European Championship, with Spain and Italy, the two World Cup and European Championship double champions, plus the 2018 World Cup runner-up and 2022 World Cup runner-up Croatia, and the European Championship newcomer Albania together form the biggest group of death in this European Cup.
Although Spain and Italy have a poor record in the World Cup in recent years, Spain has stopped in the round of 16 in two consecutive World Cups, and Italy has missed the World Cup finals twice in a row, but the results of the two teams in the European Championship have been very good, and Spain has reached the final 2 times and won the championship 2 times in the last 4 European Cups, and Italy has reached the final 2 times and won the championship 1 time. Therefore, although Spain and Italy are not as strong as France and England as a whole, they are still the favourites to win the European Championship and of course the favourites to qualify from the group.
As for the Plaid Army Croatia, this will be the 38-year-old Modric's last European Championship, but the new generation of Croatian players represented by Gvardiol has gradually grown up and will also be a strong contender for a place in the group. As for Albania, the new team of the European Championship, being in such a "group of death", can only ask for more blessings.
Predicted group standings: Spain, Italy, Croatia and Albania.
Group C: England, Denmark, Slovenia, Serbia. England, the world's most expensive team, are in the same group as Nordic powerhouse Denmark and two Eastern European teams, Slovenia and Serbia. At the last European Championship, the young England team lost to the experienced Italian side in the final, losing the European Championship title. Four years later, England are back in strength and maturity, with young talent such as Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Declan Rice already leading the way in their respective clubs, and Gareth Southgate, who has been in charge of England for seven years, and it's time to reap the fruits of victory.
Of the other three teams, Denmark and Serbia are evenly matched, with the two teams battling it out for second place in the group, while Slovenia will have to survive in the cracks.
Predict the position of this group: England, Denmark, Serbia and Slovenia.
Group D: France, Austria, Netherlands, play-off team A. A big reason for the interest in this group is that the two former European Championship winners, France and the Netherlands, have been placed in a group again in the European Championship finals after being in the same group in the European Championship qualifiers. The French team defeated the Dutch team twice in the qualifiers, I don't know if in the group stage of the European Cup, it will be the French team that completes the triple kill or the Dutch team completes revenge?
In addition to France and the Netherlands, Austria, which has a large number of teams playing in the Bundesliga, has also improved significantly in recent years, and has the quality to cause problems for France and the Netherlands. As for the other team that came out of the play-offs, whether it was Poland or Wales, they could be the strongest of the three play-off teams, but in a group like France and the Netherlands, the chances of an upset are slim to none.
Predict the position of this group: France, Netherlands, Austria and play-off team A.
Group E: Belgium, Romania, Slovakia, play-off team B. Belgium are arguably the best team in this tournament, even better than hosts Germany, and they may have drawn the weakest teams in Pot 2 and 3, Romania (43) and Slovakia (45), at least in terms of the world rankings. Belgium, which has always been strong and not weak, likes to play this level of team the most, but the team that broke through Group B of the qualifiers (Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Iceland) is the most likely to pose a threat to Belgium.
Predict the position of this group: Belgium, play-off team B, Slovakia and Romania.
Group F: Portugal, Turkey, Czech Republic, play-off team C. Portugal has an excellent record after the new coach Martinez took office, and is the only team to maintain a complete victory in the European Championship qualifiers, and Ronaldo is even stronger and stronger, and his performance is excellent, which may be Ronaldo's last European Cup. Portugal's signing is moderate, and although Turkey and the Czech Republic are not as strong as Portugal as a whole, they also have the strength to pose a certain threat to Portugal. As for the four teams of Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan and Luxembourg, it may be difficult for them to qualify from the group no matter which team advances.
Predict the position of this group: Portugal, Turkey, Czech Republic and play-off team C.
Note: The picture comes from the Internet.