Euro 2024 Preview

Over 2000 tickets have now been sold at the Dunfermline City Fanzone and with the tournament just around the corner, Andrew Morrison, presenter of the official DAFC podcast ‘Inside Athletic‘ previews the upcoming fixtures.

Germany 🇩🇪
Nickname – Die Mannschaft
Manager – Julian Nagelsmann
Captain – Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona, Spain)

The host nation for this year’s edition of the UEFA European Championships, Germany have won the competition on three separate occasions, with the most recent win coming in 1996. Germany come into this year’s competition as one of the favourites and despite underperforming in their last three major tournaments, the nation remains optimistic about the prospect of lifting the trophy on home soil. Headed by former Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann, the squad have been boosted by the return of midfielder Toni Kroos, who had previously retired from international football. Attacking prospects Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz are sure to cause the opposition great difficulty and will be key to any German success this summer, particularly after their impressive campaigns in the Bundesliga. Goalkeeper Neuer needs no introduction and the defence likely to consist of two-time Champions League winner Antonio Rudiger and Jonathan Tah, will provide both stability and experience. Die Mannschaft will be hoping to replicate the feel-good-factor that surrounded the 2006 World Cup and reach the latter stages of the tournament, and from there, anything is possible for a team of this calibre.

Scotland will face off with the hosts on June 14th in the opening match of the competition. The two sides last met in 2015, with Germany running out 3-2 winners in a closely contested European Qualifier at Hampden Park. Scotland’s last win over Germany came in a friendly in 1999, with Don Hutchison scoring the pivotal goal in the 1-0 victory.  

Hungary 🇭🇺
Nickname – Magyarok
Manager – Marco Rossi
Captain – Dominik Szoboszlai (Liverpool, England)

A potential dark horse for this years’ competition. Rossi’s side are a force to be reckoned with having qualified for their third successive European Championships, particularly after going through their qualification group undefeated, picking up five wins and three draws. Led by the talented Dominik Szoboszlai, Hungary place 26th in the world rankings, 13 places above Scotland. Although lacking depth, Hungary are blessed with having a number of key players in form in some of European football’s best leagues. Goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi of RB Leipzig is one of the best in his position and could prove to be pivotal if defensive frailties are exposed, and Roland Sallai, also plying his trade in the Bundesliga, has impressed at Freiburg. Over reliance on Szoboszlai and a lack of quality attacking options could hinder Hungary but they are undoubtedly one of the more underrated teams entering this year’s Euro’s. Expect a number of surprises from the Magyarok. 

The previous meeting between Scotland and Hungary saw the former run out 1-0 winners in a friendly in Budapest, with Matt Phillips notching the winner. Among the starters for Scotland that night were Callum McGregor, Jack Hendry and the recently re-called James Forrest. The two will go head-to-head in the final group stage match in Stuttgart.

Switzerland 🇨🇭
Nickname – Nati
Manager – Murat Yakin
Captain – Grant Xhaka (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)

The Swiss are notoriously hard to beat and have proved to be a potential banana peel for some of the bigger nations in world football, as seen in their Euro 2020 comeback win over France. An underwhelming qualifying campaign saw the Swiss score a respectable 22 goals, but fail to beat both Romania and Kosovo, with the former finishing ahead of Yakin’s side in Group I. An aging Xherdan Shaqiri surely won’t be able to replicate his heroics in previous international competitions and the lack of a goalscoring figure in the final third could really hinder any potential success in this years Euro’s. That being said, a solid backline of Premier League duo Fabian Schar and Manuel Akanji coupled with the impressive Yann Sommer in goals provides the Swiss with defensive security and could leave the opposition frustrated. With the host nation expected to top Group A, Switzerland will be battling it out with Scotland and Hungary for second place.

Switzerland last faced off with Scotland in a friendly match in March 2006, with the away side running out 3-1 winners at Hampden Park. Kenny Miller scored the only goal for the Scots on a disappointing night in Glasgow. The sides last met competitively in the 1996 edition of the European Championships, with an Ally McCoist strike in the first half giving Scotland an ultimately meaningless 1-0 win as Craig Brown’s men missed out on qualification from the group stages.

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