On the 2nd of December, the draw for next year’s European Championship was made. In this article we take a look at the draw in full and also take a closer look at how things are shaping up for the home nations. England and Scotland know which three teams they will face at Euro 2024 in Germany, whilst Wales know that if they can make it through the play-offs they will be in Group D.
Who is in England’s Group at Euro 2024?
England were one of the six top seeds for the draw, in theory meaning they should face a relatively kind draw. However, with Italy in the lowest tier of teams, and both Netherlands and Croatia in Pot 3 (of four), there was certainly the possibility of that not being the case.
As it happened though, as has often been the case in recent years, Gareth Southgate got the sort of draw he would probably have hand-picked. From Pot 2, the Three Lions got Denmark, whilst Slovenia were their Pot 3 opponents, and Serbia complete the quartet from Pot 4. That’s not a bad group at all and things are even better than that in terms of who England are likely to face in the knockout phase – assuming they “escape” the group.
Should England finish top of the pile, as they are favourites to do, they know they will face one of the third-placed teams in the next round. In theory at least that should see them given a decidedly winnable Round of 16 tie and their good luck doesn’t end there. After that, they would play the runner-up from Group A or Group B. We won’t get into second-guessing who that could be but it is certainly a favourable outcome.
Of course, at some point, to win any major tournament you will almost certainly have to beat a top team. Indeed, France could be waiting in the semis, should Harry Kane’s men make it that far. But this draw certainly gives the Three Lions a great chance to ease themselves into the competition and build confidence before that potentially huge clash.
|Pot Drawn From
|FIFA Ranking (as of 6/12/24)
What About Scotland?
Scotland finished behind Spain in qualifying Group A to once again book their spot at the finals of the Euros. They were in the third pot and were drawn alongside hosts Germany in Group A. Hungary and Switzerland make up the quartet and all in all Scotland can be reasonably pleased with that. Germany have been so poor of late that Scotland, who beat Spain in qualification, will feel they can beat them if the hosts let the pressure get to them and that clash will be the tournament’s curtain raiser.
Hungary and Switzerland are both decent outfits but Steve Clarke and his men will certainly not fear them and will feel that they have a chance of at the very least pushing for one of the four third-place qualification places. That duo are currently ranked 27th and 18th respectively (Germany are 16th) and it is far from inconceivable that Scotland could even, just maybe, win the group! If they do, they would play the runner-up from Group C, England’s group.
Wales Face Play-Offs and Then…
Wales finished third in qualification and so entered the play-offs, where they will play Finland. That clash takes place in Cardiff in March and if the Dragons win, they will face the winner of the Poland versus Estonia game five days later. If they win that, Germany beckons.
If Wales do deliver the goods then they will be placed in Group D, one of a couple of really challenging quartets that could well merit the “Group of Death” tag. They would be up against France, one of the tournament favourites, Netherlands, and Austria, with Austria the lowest-ranked of the trio at 24th and the other two both inside the top six of FIFA’s latest rankings.
Two Groups of Death?
Wales would certainly have a struggle on their hands but Group D is not the only really testing place to end up in this tournament. Group B may well be even tougher, with Spain, Croatia, Italy and Albania making up that quartet.
Spain are eighth in the world, with Italy ninth, Croatia 10th, and Albania are not to be underestimated as a side that finished 10th in the overall qualification ranking. Albania topped Group E in qualification, impressing as they lost just once to finish ahead of Czech Republic, Poland and minnows Moldova and the Faroes. Spain, Italy and Croatia pretty much speak for themselves but getting out of this group could prove tricky for all of them and we may well see some world-class players leaving the tournament early.
Euro 2024 Draw in Full
So, we know what the home nations face and which two groups could well prove the hardest to qualify from, let alone win, but what about the other teams? Here is the draw in full.
- Play-off Winner A (TBC)
- Play-off Winner B (TBC)
- Play-off Winner C (TBC)
- Czech Republic
The top two from each group qualify for the Round of 16 automatically, meaning 12 winners and 12 runners-up progress. The final 16 are completed by the four best third-placed nations. The third-placed teams are ranked by points, goal difference, goals scored, then wins, with other metrics used to separate them if they are level.