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Euro 2024: Group A Preview

We're now less than a couple of weeks away from the start of Euro 2024, which means it's time to begin looking at how each nation is shaping up ahead of the championships.

There are a lot of competitive score prediction leagues being setup here on Superbru which is fantastic to see, and a bit of knowledge of each team should certainly come in handy considering you'll be predicting the outcome of each and every match in the tournament in our Predictor game.

Unique, specific match previews will be available for each and every fixture for those of you that are Superbru Premium users, but in the meantime, I'll be going through a quick preview of each group more generally in this series.

It makes sense to go alphabetically, doesn't it? So here's a few things to look out for in Group A. Feel free to share your own thoughts and a prediction of how the group may look at the end of Round 3 in the comments section below!

Group A

🇩🇪 Germany | Manager: Julian Nagelsmann | FIFA Ranking: 16th

As 3-time winners of the Euros and the hosts of this 2024 edition, Germany need to challenge in this tournament and their chances look a fair bit better than they did around a year ago with things seemingly on the up under Julian Nagelsmann.

Following Joachim Low's 15-year reign which ended with a defeat to England in the Round of 16 at the last Euros, Germany hired Hansi Flick but things didn't go well. In 25 games, Flick won just 12, and Germany were eliminated in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup following a defeat to Japan.

To complete that picture - when Flick left Bayern for the Germany job, Nagelsmann took his place in charge of the Bavarian giants having excelled at RB Leipzig. He won the Bundesliga in his first season in charge before being fired the next season while Bayern were a point behind Dortmund (at the time, it was hard to imagine things being much worse for Bayern). Strained relationships between Bayern players and Nagelsmann were also a factor in that decision, so he'll now be very eager to take this opportunity with the national team with both hands.

Since the disappointment of the World Cup, Germany have played some exciting stuff under Nagelsmann, with wins over both France and the Netherlands back in March a promising sign.

Here's the 27-man squad Nagelsmann has selected for the time being. You're only allowed a maximum of 26 in your squad for the tournament, so at least one name will be cut:

Toni Kroos coming out of international retirement this year is headline news (before he actually retires altogether at the end of this tournament), and he'll likely start in a 3-man midfield alongside Ilkay Gundogan but it's less clear who will be favoured as a more defensive '6' (Robert Andrich the most likely) as Bayern's Joshua Kimmich is preferred at right-back.

Germany will look to play forward quickly and are likely to setup fairly narrowly considering both Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz have been starting behind Kai Havertz in the March friendlies rather than out and out wingers like Leroy Sane.

The hosts are expected to win Group A but none of their fixtures are particularly straightforward...

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland | Manager: Steve Clarke | FIFA Ranking: 39th

Steve Clarke has done an excellent job as Scotland manager, with this now back-to-back appearances for the Scots at European Championships having not qualified pre-2020 since 1996. Now, the goal is to reach the knockout stages for the first time ever, which will be a challenge in this group but certainly isn't impossible.

Results in the March friendlies window weren't the best but Scotland were impressive in the qualifiers, progressing alongside Spain who they defeated 2-0 at home last year. In competitive fixtures, Clarke has got his team looking solid defensively, but to get through this group they will of course need some goals and it will be interesting to see if they leave themselves more open when looking to throw players forward to make up for their lack of individual attacking quality.

On paper, Scotland have about half a team that is of very good quality which sort of originates at left back and then spreads diagonally across the pitch through a very strong midfield, but the other bits are more patchy. They'll play 3 at the back because two of their best players - Kieran Tierney and Andrew Roberson - are both left backs which means Tierney plays at left centre-back with Robertson in a more advanced role further up the flank when attacking.

A strong Premier League midfield three of Billy Gilmour (Brighton), Scott McTominay (Manchester United) and John McGinn (Aston Villa) means Scotland should match their Group A opposition for quality and certainly tenacity in this tournament, but they might lack a quality centre forward to supply passes to.

Recent news that QPR striker Lyndon Dykes has been forced out of the 28-man provisional squad with injury has worsened this problem. In his place, it will likely be Southampton's Che Adams or Hearts' Lawrence Shankland given the nod in attack. After 30 goals this season and the Scottish Premiership Player of the Year award, Shankland surely deserves a go?

🇭🇺 Hungary | Manager: Marco Rossi | FIFA Ranking: 26th

Like Scotland, Hungary have been on the up for a few years now and they'll also be targeting a place in the knockout stages which makes this group very interesting as there's not much between those two nations and Switzerland who we'll get to in a moment.

Having not qualified for the Euros since 1972 where they came 4th, Hungary returned to the tournament in 2016 and reached the Round of 16 before Marco Rossi arrived in 2018 and he's earned them qualification for both Euro 2020 and this edition. At Euro 2020, Hungary were far more competitive than expected in the 'Group of Death', holding France to a 1-1 draw in Budapest and drawing 2-2 with Germany in Munich.

That bodes well for Rossi's side ahead of more competitive action in Germany this time around (they face the hosts in Stuttgart this time though!) and their opening game against Switzerland is a massive one since it provides a chance to get themselves in a commanding position from the off.

Liverpool star Dominik Szoboszlai is their standout player by a distance and he will be the man they rely upon for attacking creativity (and likely a fair number of long distance attempts on goal himself) while Hungary are also well stacked in the goalkeeping department with RB Leipzig's Peter Gulacsi perhaps not even guaranteed to start given the talent of Ferencvaros keeper Denes Dibusz.

Freiburg striker Roland Salloi hasn't had the best Bundesliga season but he could prove a threat, especially given his familiarity with the German stadia, while Daniel Gazdag will arrive at the tournament as a more in-form option having scored 10 goals in 14 MLS starts so far this season for the Philadelphia Union.

More generally, results in the last couple of years have been very encouraging for Hungary. They defeated England twice in the 2022 Nations League including a 0-4 away win at Molineux and they're unbeaten in 14 games heading into their pre-tournament friendlies with Ireland and Israel.

🇨🇭 Switzerland | Manager: Murat Yakin | FIFA Ranking: 19th

As a nation with numerous recognisable players from Europe's top leagues and plenty of experience - they've now qualified for 6 of the last 8 European championships - Switzerland would usually be looked at as the team that is highly likely to progress from this group alongside Germany but things haven't been going particularly well of late.

In contrast to Hungary's lengthy unbeaten run heading into this tournament, Switzerland have won just 2 of their last 9 matches and just about came through a weak qualifier group despite losing to Romania and being held to draws by Kosovo, Israel and Belarus.

We only have an expanded provisional squad for Switzerland at the moment, but we can expect them to be solid enough defensively given the number of experienced key men they have in that half of the field. Goals might be more of a problem, hence the gravity of their games against Hungary and Scotland given all three nations could be depending on a single moment of attacking magic in order to progress.

Midfielder Granit Xhaka (Bayer Leverkusen), defenders Manuel Akanji (Manchester City) and Fabian Schar (Newcastle), and goalkeepers Yann Sommer (Inter) and Gregor Kobel (Dortmund) are all very strong players that have had plenty of recent success in club football, but you don't see that kind of pedigree when looking at the Swiss attack.

In terms of forward options that could surprise us with a standout tournament, Burnley's Zeki Amdouni showed glimpses in his debut season for the Clarets having arrived from Basel, Breel Embolo (Monaco) has talent but has hardly played because of injury and Noah Okafor (Milan) has limited minutes in Serie A after transferring from Salzburg.

Xherdan Shaqiri, who many of us still think of as Switzerland's magic man, is still about but surely shouldn't be relied upon as heavily now that he's playing in the MLS where he's had just a couple of goals and a single assist in 12 appearances for the Chicago Fire this season.

Just as in the 2022 World Cup, I wouldn't be surprised to see Switzerland squeeze their way through this group just through big tournament experience, but it's far from a foregone conclusion and I feel Hungary might just get something from them in that opening round fixture. The games between Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland should make for very tense viewing, and let's not rule out one of them upsetting Germany to really shake things up!

How do you see Group A playing out?
85,289 caps
Germans1st and 2nd Swiss. Scots definitely last.
4 Jun 19:27
21 caps
Fud 4 Jun 19:50
765 caps
4 Jun 20:22
94,535 caps
Maybe Switzerland and Hungary a draw in round 1
5 Jun 00:33
5,907 caps
1. germany
2. switzerland
3. hungary
4. scotland
5 Jun 21:27
70,725 caps
Germany to win group
5 Jun 23:21
21 caps
1. Germany
5 Jun 23:45
35 caps
Group A
8 Jun 03:02
21 caps
Come on Scotland
9 Jun 06:45