Euro 2024 Qualification Starts – Group Preview, Fixtures & Betting Tips

By Ian John
March 20, 2023

From now through to November 2023, we will play through the group stage qualifiers of the 2024 European Championships, which will be held across Germany in June/July 2024.

23 teams will join the hosts in the summer of 2024, all seeking to follow Italy into the history books as the winner of Europe’s biggest national team tournament.

Bet365 Sport already has inserted Germany and France as the joint favourites for the tournament at 11/2 each, while England are the third favourites at 7/1, ahead of teams such as Spain (15/2), Italy (9/1) and the Netherlands (11/1)

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With seven groups of five teams, plus three groups of six, all 8 or 10 group stage games will be played from March 2023 to November 2023 and the top two teams in each group will qualify for the finals.

The remaining three places will be decided via a playoff to be held in March 2024, which will see the final three teams stake their claim to a spot in the finals.

Ten venues have already been earmarked in Germany to host the finals in what will be a return to a single venue for the 2024 tournament, as opposed to multiple venues across Europe for the 2020 finals tournament.

With the expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams (more on that in a later article) this tournament represents a great chance for the top European teams to get some tournament experience under their belts ahead of the qualification campaign for the World Cup, as well as a chance to lift one of the biggest trophies in international football.

Let’s now take a look at how the groups and fixtures shape up for this week.

Gareth Southgate – England Manager

Euro 2024 – Qualification Groups

There are ten groups in qualifying and the top two teams in each group at the end of qualifying earning a spot at the finals and the final three being decided by the playoffs to be held in March 2024.

Odds shown are for each team to win the group.

Group A

  • Spain – 1/6 fav
  • Scotland – 12/1
  • Norway – 13/2
  • Georgia – 50/1
  • Cyprus – 150/1

Matchday 1 Fixtures

  • Scotland v Cyprus (2pm)
  • Spain v Norway

Matchday 2 Fixtures

  • Georgia v Norway (5pm)
  • Scotland v Spain

Spain deservedly start as favourites in this group and I think Norway will likely be involved in a battle with Scotland and possibly Georgia for second spot in the group, albeit I feel that the Scandinavian side will ultimately finish second.

However, this is a tough start for the Norwegians with two tough away games and if Scotland can pick up four or more points from their two home games, thay alter the group.

Prediction – 1. Spain, 2. Norway, 3. Scotland, 4. Georgia, 5. Cyprus

Group B

  • Netherlands – 6/5
  • France – 4/5 fav
  • Republic of Ireland – 25/1
  • Greece – 20/1
  • Gibraltar – 4500/1

Matchday 1 Fixtures

  • France v Netherlands
  • Gibraltar v Greece

Matchday 2 Fixtures

  • Netherlands v Gibraltar
  • Rep of Ireland v France

This is going to be a two-horse race for top spot in the group and I think France may just edge it by having the better of their two games against the Dutch, the first of which comes up in the first matchday in the group.

The other three teams will see Gibraltar come bottom, with Greece likely pipping Ireland to third place in the group.

Prediction – 1. France, 2. Netherlands, 3. Greece, 4. Rep of Ireland, 5. Gibraltar

Group C

  • Italy – 5/4
  • England – 10/11 fav
  • Ukraine – 8/1
  • North Macedonia – 66/1
  • Malta – 2500/1

Matchday 1 Fixtures

  • Italy v England
  • North Macedonia v Malta

Matchday 2 Fixtures

  • England v Ukraine (5pm)
  • Malta v Italy

One of the tougher groups in qualifying sees the two finalists from 2020 drawn together, alongside Ukraine and a North Macedonia side that knocked Italy out of the World Cup playoffs for the 2022 World Cup Finals.

Away form I think will be crucial in this group and I do expect all teams to lose at least one game here, but I think England will just pip Italy to top spot in the group, while Ukraine will be pushing hard from third position just ahead of North Macedonia.

Prediction – 1. England, 2. Italy, 3. Ukraine, 4. North Macedonia, 5. Malta

Group D

  • Croatia – 5/6 fav
  • Wales – 4/1
  • Armenia – 66/1
  • Turkey – 15/8
  • Latvia – 1000/1

Matchday 1 Fixtures

  • Armenia v Turkey (5pm)
  • Croatia v Wales

Matchday 2 Fixtures

  • Wales v Latvia
  • Turkey v Croatia

I think Wales may miss out on qualifying directly here due to Gareth Bale being retired. I think a resurgent Turkey team will emerge as the main threat to Croatia, who start this campaign as the group favourites.

I’m not convinced Croatia will have it all their own way and I can see them dropping points, so I think it may be a real battle between Croatia and Turkey for top spot in the group with the other teams a little off the pace of the top two.

Prediction – 1. Croatia, 2. Turkey, 3. Wales, 4. Armenia, 5. Latvia

Group E

  • Poland – 4/6 fav
  • Czech Republic – 7/4
  • Albania – 7/1
  • Faroe Islands – 1000/1
  • Moldova – 1000/1

Matchday 1 Fixtures

  • Czech Republic v Poland
  • Moldova v Faroe Islands

Matchday 2 Fixtures

  • Poland v Albania
  • Moldova v Czech Republic

I think this could be a tricky group for the Poles. I think their team is ageing and the players coming through are not quite of the same standard of the players that have moved on. I still expect them to qualify though.

I fancy the Czech Republic to come through this group as the winners, with Albania pushing on to finish third in the group, albeit a few points adrift, with the Faroes fourth and Moldova fifth.

Prediction – 1. Czech Republic, 2. Poland, 3. Albania, 4. Faroe Islands, 5. Moldova

Group F

  • Belgium – 1/3
  • Austria – 4/1
  • Sweden – 6/1
  • Azerbaijan – 100/1
  • Estonia – 250/1

Matchday 1 Fixtures

  • Austria v Azerbaijan
  • Sweden v Belgium

Matchday 2 Fixtures

  • Austria v Estonia
  • Sweden v Azerbaijan

This is a tricky group with Belgium on the decline, Sweden very much in a state of flux and Austria also in a period of change. Azerbaijan and Estonia can be tricky places to go and pick up wins too.

Belgium have the quality in this group though and over the eight games, I expect them to pick up enough points to win the group.

Sweden and Austria will likely battle it out for second spot in the group and it may well be the team that does best in its away games against Azerbaijan, Belgium and each other that secures a place in the finals by finishing runner up.

Prediction – 1. Belgium, 2. Sweden, 3. Austria, 4. Azerbaijan, 5. Estonia

Group G

  • Hungary – 15/8
  • Serbia – 10/11 fav
  • Montenegro – 7/1
  • Bulgaria – 11/1
  • Lithuania 33/1

Matchday 1 Fixtures

  • Bulgaria v Montenegro (5pm)
  • Serbia v Lithuania

Matchday 2 Fixtures

  • Montenegro v Serbia
  • Hungary v Bulgaria

I’ve predicted a little surprise in this group with  me backing Hungary to take the first place spot in a close run battle with Serbia.

I think both these teams will run away in Group H and will finish comfortably clear of the rest with Montenegro likely to finish third but many points behind the top two.

Prediction – 1. Hungary, 2. Serbia, 3. Montenegro, 4. Bulgaria, 5. Lithuania

Group H

  • Denmark – 1/7 fav
  • Finland – 9/1
  • Slovenia – 14/1
  • Kazakhstan – 100/1
  • Northern Ireland – 16/1
  • San Marino – 4500/1

Matchday 1 Fixtures

  • Kazakhstan v Slovenia (3pm)
  • Denmark v Finland
  • San Marino v Northern Ireland

Matchday 2 Fixtures

  • Kazakhstan v Denmark (2pm)
  • Slovenia v San Marino (5pm)
  • Northern Ireland v Finland

As their odds suggest, Denmark should have little problem making it through what is, on paper, a relatively easy group for the semi-finalists of the last European Championships.

I think Slovenia will earn second spot ahead of Finland, with Kazakhstan perhaps being a surprise package in the group by finishing ahead of Northern Ireland with San Marino likely bringing up last place and not likely to take a point from their ten games.

Prediction – 1. Denmark, 2. Slovenia, 3. Finland, 4. Kazakhstan, 5. N.Ireland, 6. San Marino

Group I

  • Switzerland – 4/7 fav
  • Israel – 11/2
  • Romania – 9/2
  • Kosovo – 9/1
  • Belarus – 40/1
  • Andorra – 1000/1

Matchday 1 Fixtures

  • Belarus v Switzerland (5pm)
  • Israel v Kosovo (5pm)
  • Andorra v Romania

Matchday 2 Fixtures

  • Romania v Belarus
  • Switzerland v Israel
  • Kosovo v Andorra

Switzerland should make comfortable work of winning the group as this is arguably the weakest of all the groups in the qualifying campaign. Israel and perhaps Romania will likely be their closest challengers but I think they’ll finish well adrift of the Swiss.

As is the case in a number of groups, the real battle in this group will be for the second spot in the table and I think three teams, Kosovo, Romania and Israel will be in that battle with the Israeli team likely to clinch it.

Andorra will finish bottom with Belarus likely only picking up points against the bottom team.

Prediction – 1. Switzerland, 2. Israel, 3. Romania, 4. Kosovo, 5. Belarus, 6. Andorra

Group J

  • Portugal – 1/5 fav
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina – 8/1
  • Iceland – 16/1
  • Luxembourg – 66/1
  • Slovakia – 10/1
  • Liechtenstein – 1000/1

Matchday 1 Fixtures

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina v Iceland
  • Portugal v Liechtenstein
  • Slovakia v Luxembourg

Matchday 2 Fixtures

  • Liechtenstein v Iceland (5pm)
  • Slovakia v Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Luxembourg v Portugal

Portugal look to have a very comfortable passage through to the finals next summer in one of the easier groups of qualifying. I expect the favourites to secure close to maximum points in this group, with the real battle being for second spot.

I think Bosnia-Herzegovina will just pip Slovakia and then Iceland to that second qualification spot, while the two bottom teams Liechtenstein and Luxembourg will be well adrift at the foot of the table.

Prediction – 1. Portugal, 2. Bosnia-Herzegovina, 3. Slovakia, 4. Iceland, 5. Liechtenstein, 6. Luxembourg

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