🌟 The biggest talking points from the Euro 2024 draw 🗣 | OneFootball

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Joel Sanderson-Murray·2 December 2023

🌟 The biggest talking points from the Euro 2024 draw 🗣

Article image:🌟 The biggest talking points from the Euro 2024 draw 🗣

The draw for the Euro 2024 group stage has been made and we now know what to expect in Germany next summer.

So, what are the biggest storylines we’ve got to look out for?

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Delicious curtain-raiser

Article image:🌟 The biggest talking points from the Euro 2024 draw 🗣

One thing we know for sure is that we’ve got one hell of a mouth-watering opening fixture ahead of us.

All eyes will be on the hosts Germany as they kick off the tournament on June 14 but head-coach Julian Nagelsmann might have been hoping for an easier fixture to take some of the pressure of his side.

Things haven’t been going to plan for some time for the Germans, having won just two of their 11 games since the World Cup last December.

There will be plenty of questions asked about this Germany team going into the tournament – how good a comfortable win on the opening night would be for Nagelsmann and his men.

Standing in their way is a Scotland team that is on quite the journey under Steve Clarke having qualified for the tournament with just one defeat in eight games in a group containing Spain and Norway.

Clarke will likely look at the 2-0 win over Spain in March 2023 as the blueprint for his team to upset the apple cart.

We could be in for a shock in the opening game but either way we’ve got some curtain-raiser to come.

Group of death?

Article image:🌟 The biggest talking points from the Euro 2024 draw 🗣

There always has to be a group of death and boy do we have a beauty.

Spain, Croatia and Italy will all lock horns in Group B and there’s every chance a real big name could fall at the first hurdle – even with the comfort blanket of four of the third best-placed teams qualifying.

Albania will be wondering what they must’ve done in a past life to be rewarded with this group after qualifying for only their second international tournament.

Italy will have a fight on to defend their crown as they battle off against Euro 2020 semi-finalists in Spain and World Cup 2022 semi-finalists in Croatia, where Luka Modrić might be gracing us with his presence at a tournament for the last time.

This is the group to look out for come June, get your wallcharts at the ready.

Way through for Southgate’s men?

Article image:🌟 The biggest talking points from the Euro 2024 draw 🗣

England will be looking to go one step further after falling at the final hurdle four years ago, and Gareth Southgate will be quietly pleased at what the group stage gods brought out for him.

A re-run of 2020’s semi-final with Denmark won’t be an easy one to overcome but they will consider themselves more than capable of getting two wins from clashes with Serbia and Slovenia.

This will be the first time England will face Serbia in a competitive fixture but their previous meeting with the latter will bring a reminder of some warning for the Three Lions.

England’s one and only previous tournament meeting with Slovenia came in World Cup 2010 when they entered the competition believing they’d landed an easy group alongside USA and Algeria.

But two draws in the opening two games left them scrambling for a 1-0 win to book their passage through to the knockout rounds.

England will fancy their chances heading to Germany next summer but still need to keep their wits about them.

Ronaldo’s last dance?

Article image:🌟 The biggest talking points from the Euro 2024 draw 🗣

Could this be Cristiano Ronaldo’s last appearance at a European Championship?

The Al-Nassr forward hasn’t hinted at retiring but at 38, it’s fair to suggest that the end is in sight from an international point of view. Thankfully for Portugal fans it won’t be before this summer.

One thing that will be playing on the legendary forward’s mind is how his arch-rival Lionel Messi guided Argentina to World Cup glory in 2022, and he’ll no doubt want to get in on that kind of action himself.

Ronaldo does have a score to settle in this competition, after being taken off in the first half of the Euro 2016 final win over France which will no doubt be heading his motivation going into the tournament.

Roberto Martínez has a group of Turkey, Czech Republic and one of the play-off winners to overcome, if they get past that then the narrative could begin to write itself for Ronaldo’s (potential) last dance.

Dutch courage

Article image:🌟 The biggest talking points from the Euro 2024 draw 🗣

The Netherlands’ one and only international honour came in 1988 but they head into every tournament they qualify for expecting to be in the conversation during the latter stages.

This will be the situation again going into Euro 2024, or at least according to head coach Ronald Koeman, who referred to their group as ‘not unfavourable and should be doable’ when questioned earlier this evening.

With one of the pre-tournament favourites France in there mixed with the in-form Austria and one of the play-off winners to come there might be some scepticism over that confidence.

The Dutch didn’t cover themselves in glory in qualifying, needing a late penalty to save their bacon against Greece and looking lacklustre in narrow wins over the Republic of Ireland while being dismantled by France.

It’s not a problem having confidence going into a tournament but this Dutch courage may be found to be misplaced if Koeman isn’t careful.