HomeLooking Ahead to the Euro 2024 Qualifiers

Looking Ahead to the Euro 2024 Qualifiers

Before Europe and the rest of the world know it, Euro 2024, which takes place from 14 June to 14 July 2024, will be here. This month, thoughts are turning to the qualifiers, which start on 23 March and run until November 2023. Since the finals will be contested in Germany, the host nation has already qualified for the tournament. But who else will qualify? Below is a look at the qualifying process and some of the main fixtures coming up towards the end of the month.

The road to Euro 2024
The purpose of the qualifying matches is simple: to secure a place in the finals. That’s easier said than done, of course. On paper, some groups are going to be tougher than others, but no team should ever assume that qualification is in the bag. Shock defeats at last year’s
World Cup taught the globe that.

How qualifying works
There are 23 places up for grabs alongside Germany. Twenty will be through qualifying by the group stage. There are ten groups of teams: seven of five teams and six of six teams. The top two teams of each group will go on to play in Euro 2024.
The results of the playoffs, which are linked to the 2023/24 UEFA Nations League, will determine the other three teams who go to Germany. Twelve teams will be selected, based on their performances in the 2023/24 UEFA Nations League. Nominally, these are the group winners of leagues A, B and C, but if they’ve already qualified, the next best ranked team in their league will replace them. This filters down to league D if there aren’t enough qualified teams in the same league. After the qualifiers, there will be six semi-finals and three finals. The winners of the three finals will join the rest of the teams in Euro 2024.

Key groups and fixtures
Teams will have to work hard, and there are some challenging groups in the qualifying stages. Group B, which consists of France, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Greece and Gibraltar won’t be an easy group to conquer. Nor will Group C, in which England, Italy,
the Ukraine, Malta and North Macedonia will all be battling it out. Group F, which puts Austria, Sweden, Belgium, Azerbaijan and Estonia together could be another tricky group.

England vs Ukraine
At 17.00 on Sunday, 26 March, England will host the Ukraine at Wembley Stadium, in London. The qualifier will be a big match for the Three Lions as the team try to come back from their heartbreak against Italy in the Euro 2020 final. They’ll be looking to prove they’re in convincing form and send out a message that no match against them will go to penalties.

England will likely be relishing the encounter more than Ukraine. The last time the two teams faced off against each other was in the Euro 2020 quarter finals. England won 4-0. The result was no freak occurrence. England have a strong record against the Ukraine, having won five times, drawn twice and lost only once.

Republic of Ireland vs France

The Republic of Ireland will go head to head with France on Monday, 27 March, at 19:45, in the Dublin Arena. The boys from Ireland haven’t won against since 1981. When they last met, back in 2018 for a friendly, France won 2-0.

Despite being away from home, Les Bleus are expected to do the business again. Even so, an upset could be on the cards. France have looked slightly shaky, having lost 1-0 to Croatia last June and 2-0 to Denmark last September, both in the UEFA Nations League.

Betting on football
Seeing some of Europe’s greatest players do battle against each other on the pitch for their national side is exciting in itself, but some fans like to make things even more interesting by placing a bet on games. Sportsbooks have also made the betting process easier for fans with many online bookies having mobile apps where punters can easily and conveniently place a football bet.

In fact, in research discussed on the website of consumer and market data company Statista, almost three quarters of respondents stated they intended to bet on individual matches of Euro 2020. The question of who would be the outright tournament winner was the next source of bets, with 42% of respondents planning to wager on this. From there, punters appeared to get more daring with their bets, with 22% planning to place accumulator or parlay bets.

Although it’s a little early to make more solid predictions, some sportsbooks have Germany as the favourites, whereas others feel France and England could also be in with a major shout.

Euro 2024 will be an interesting tournament, as the Euros always are. Before the teams can make that happen for the continent’s football fans, however, they must make it past the qualifying stages. Don’t be surprised if there’s an upset. Smaller teams sometimes rise to big occasions.


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