European Football Championship: opponents Italy and Netherlands? This is how it continues at the European Championships

European Football Championship
Opponents Italy and Netherlands? This is how it continues at the European Championships

Germany’s Ilkay Gündogan in a duel with two Dutchmen. photo

© Federico Gambarini/dpa

Germany is initially avoiding Europe’s top five teams at the European Championships. The host could still get a spicy draw.

The complicated and mathematically demanding phase of European Championship qualification is over. 21 of 24 participants – including the already seeded host Germany – have been confirmed and can plan for the tournament in summer 2024 (June 14th to July 14th).

Who can be considered as opponents in the preliminary round? Who will national coach Julian Nagelsmann’s team face in the knockout games at the earliest? And what happens next with the qualification after the draw on December 2nd in Hamburg? The most important questions:

What do possible groups for Germany look like?

European Championship semi-finalists Denmark, the Netherlands and defending champions Italy would probably be the most difficult group for Germany on paper. However, a feasible season with Albania, Slovenia and a weak playoff participant is also conceivable.

Possible opponents from pot 2: Hungary, Turkey, Romania, Denmark, Albania, Austria

Possible opponents from pot 3: Netherlands, Scotland, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic

Possible opponents from pot 4: Italy, Serbia, Switzerland, playoff winner A, playoff winner B, playoff winner C

The three playoff winners are possible rivals for the preliminary round, but remain question marks until March.

Who does the host avoid first?

Some of the strongest rivals, because Pot 1 with Germany is well occupied. Vice world champions France, England, Belgium, Spain and Portugal with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo are also in pot 1. “The ideal situation is that we deal with them as we move forward,” said Nagelsmann. His team can only meet the other group heads from the round of 16 at the earliest.

Who still has a chance of getting a European Championship ticket?

Twelve nations will fight for the three open starting places next spring. There are no more arithmetic games and if-then constellations, but only the knockout system. The Poles around Robert Lewandowski are probably the best-known contenders. But big outsiders like Kazakhstan and Luxembourg also have the chance of a European Championship premiere. Israel and Ukraine are also in the playoffs.

How are the playoffs going?

There will be three tournaments with four teams each, and the winners will qualify for the European Championships. Poland, Wales and Estonia are definitely represented in path A, the fourth team still has to be chosen by lot. Israel and Bosnia-Herzegovina definitely play in Path B. Path C is already complete and includes Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan and Luxembourg.

What will be drawn and when?

There will be a small draw in Nyon this Thursday. A team will be drawn that moves up from path B to path A. Finland, Ukraine and Iceland are eligible. The other two nations remain in path B. The home advantage of the three finals will also be determined. The final round will be drawn in Hamburg on December 2nd (6 p.m.).

The EM lottery pots at a glance:

Pot 1Germany A1 seededPortugalFranceSpainBelgiumEnglandPot 2HungaryTurkeyRomaniaDenmarkAlbaniaAustriaPot 3NetherlandsScotlandCroatiaSloveniaSlovakiaCzech RepublicPot 4ItalySerbiaSwitzerlandWinner Playoff A: Poland, Wales, Estonia and a team from Finland, Ukraine and IcelandWinner Playoff B: Israel, Bosnia-Her zegovina and two teams from Finland, Ukraine and IcelandWinners Playoff C: Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg

The duels in the European Championship playoffs

1234Path APoleWalesFinland or Ukraine or Iceland*EstoniaPath BIsraelBosnia-HerzegovinaFinland or Ukraine*Ukraine or Iceland*Path CGeorgiaGreeceKazakhstanLuxembourg

* after UEFA’s lottery decision on November 23rd. for participants path A

Mode: Team 1 – Team 4 and Team 2 – Team 3 play in each path. The winners of these semi-finals determine the three European Championship participants in their path in finals. Home advantage will be drawn for the final.


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