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Unveiling EURO 2024: Expectations, team standings, and favourites to win

With the EURO 2024 playoffs just around the corner, here’s what we know about the tournament. This is the 17th UEFA European Championships and will take place in Germany from 14th June to 14th July. There’s already a lot to anticipate from the tournament, as well as several surprises in team lineups. Find out which squads are the top contenders and who’s most likely to win it all in this brief guide into one of football’s most anticipated competitions.

Team standings and qualification recap

The qualifying rounds of the EURO 2024 ended a few weeks ago, and the 24 teams competing in the tournament have been decided. Here are the six groups of teams currently in the running:

Group AGroup BGroup C
Group DGroup EGroup F

Team lineups, exclusions, and key players to watch

Only a few weeks of break are left before the final bout of the EURO 2024, one of the top football competitions nowadays. Naturally, national teams are using this time to modify or perfect their strategies in order to enter the group stages with impressive squads.

While some teams are sticking to their old player rosters, several, like Germany and Spain, have plenty of surprise inclusions. New faces like Aleksander Pavlovic and 17-year-old Pau Cubarsi have been called up after showcasing excellent performances for their club sides.

We can also expect lots of fresh faces in Portugal’s squad. However, Cristiano Ronaldo will be maintaining his position as team captain. Veterans like Croatia’s Luca Modric and England’s Harry Kane will also take the field with their captain armbands. Other top players to look out for are Kylian Mbappe, Adrien Rabiot, Romelu Lukaku, and Memphis Depay, who’s returning for the Netherlands.

Notable exclusions and uncertainties include Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyn, who is suffering from a minor groin injury, and Dutchman Frankie De Jong, also injured and uncertain for the competition. The French and English teams will also be without Kingsley Coman and Kalvin Phillips.

Favourites to win and other top contenders

Italy was the winner of the Euro 2020, but they don’t have the strongest team in the competition this year. On the other hand, Euro 2020 runner-ups England are top favourites among fans and betting companies alike. Spain is another big name and frequent winner of the EUROs (the only team to have won back-to-back). France is also a top contender, and the tournament masters Germany have shown a lot of potential in the qualifying rounds.

The Portugal team has been one of the most consistent, having won all their matches in the qualifying stages. Coach Roberto Martinez seems to be doing a fantastic job building a strong-knit team. The Dutch are always a popular pick to win major tournaments. They won the championships back in 1988 and are currently in solid form to give their opponents tough competition.

Croatia has proven formidable in international competitions, reaching the quarter-finals in the last World Cup and coming in runner-up in 2018. They’ve got good chances, too, but in their first game of the group stages, they’ll be up against Spain, which means they’ll need to start giving top performances right from the get-go.

Some teams have already delivered good performances in the qualifiers. Others have exceeded expectations. Some are sticking to their old habits, and others are trying out new strategies and testing out young players. The action is going to start heating up right from the first day of the group stages. Favourites for the win include England, Spain, France, and Germany. 

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