The Blues of Didier Deschamps and all the European nations will put the cover back for the first time during this 2023-2024 season with already crucial matches for certain teams. Some of the 20 tickets distributed for the next Euro in Germany could already be reserved, while conversely other teams are already under pressure and must earn points to get back into strong groups.
In the cadors family we ask for the vice-world champions. The French team has excelled since the start of qualifying with four wins in as many games and still not a single goal conceded by new number 1 goalkeeper Mike Maignan. The qualification of the Blues is almost assured, it remains to finish the job in fireworks with, why not, four new victories on the return phase. The French have an appointment this Thursday against Ireland. The Blues are not the only ones to have achieved a faultless performance so far. Quarter-finalists of the last World Cup, Gareth Southgate's English also made a great start, relying in particular on a fiery attack (15 goals in 4 games) including five from the new Bavarian striker Harry Kane surgical in front of the aim. The Three Lions can also count on the Gunners winger Bukayo Saka, author of a hat-trick during the demonstration against North Macedonia (7-0). Opposed to Ukraine for their fifth day, the British will have to rely on their attacking players to break through the Ukrainian defense.
Portugal also made a perfect start, in addition to being one of the only teams with France not to have conceded a single goal, the attack of the 2016 European champions was going very well (14 goals). Two matches await the men of Roberto Martinez, in the event of victory against Slovakia, solid second in their group J and against Luxembourg, the Seleção das Quinas will be almost guaranteed to play in the next European championship in Germany.
Who said France, England and Portugal were the only ones capable of taking 12 points from four games? Certainly not Scotland. Surprising leader of group A, the Eleven du Chardon is on the way to achieving a great feat in its history by qualifying for the second consecutive time in a final phase of the European Championship. A performance that they have only achieved once in their history, in 1992 and 1996. Carried by a Scott McTominay transcended by his navy and yellow jersey, Scotland found real football to thwart La Roja in particular. (2-0), to the delight of his audience who once again sang the legendary "Flowers of Scotland" loudly in the grounds of Hampden Park. Rest now confirmed with a fifth victory on the lawn of Cyprus, bottom of the group.
Austria can also count on a fine generation of talent. At the head of group F ahead of Belgium (which is a game behind) the eleven led by the metronomes Konrad Laimer (Bayern) and Christoph Baumgartner (RB Leipzig) is very solid with three wins and a draw. The legendary David Alaba's team will have to confirm against Sweden to take a good option on qualifying and not let the red devils slip away at the top of the pool.
Hungary is also being talked about. Along with France and Portugal, it is the only nation that has yet to concede a goal. Dénes Dibusz, the doorman of Ferencvaros, is decisive and reassures a three-man defense perfectly led by Will Orban (RB Leipzig). First tied with Serbia, the next meeting of the "Magikus Magyarok" against Stojkovic's men will be decisive to take or not the head of this group G.
A league of nations just deposited in its trophy cabinet and yet La Roja is not so well on board as that to compete for the next euro. Defeated by Scotland, Luis de la Fuente's team only played two games in this qualifying phase and are in fourth place in their pool. Despite a home success against Erling Haaland's Norway, everything remains to be done for the 2012 European champions. If the Scots started strong, the Spaniards could put the pressure on Steve Clarke's men with two clear wins against to Georgia and Cyprus.
Reigning European champion, Italy is in the same conditions as Spain. With two disputed matches, the Italians did not cause a sensation, with a logical defeat against the English and a sluggish success against Malta. The Squadra Azzura are famous in their last years for their lack of realism in closed matches, a flaw which earned them two eliminations at the gates of the World Cup in 2018 and 2022. With Luciano Spalletti in charge, Italy will have to ensure against to North Macedonia and Ukraine for not being scared for too long and defending their title in Germany.
Surprise semi-finalist of the last Euro, Denmark has been struggling to confirm since. Last of a group within reach at the World Cup, the team led by Christian Eriksen has lost its luster. With two wins in four games in a fairly homogeneous group H, the Danes are third. If they can still go back to the first two places synonymous with qualification for the Euro, the Scandinavians will have to negotiate their next two games well against San Marino and Finland, the group leader. A major problem, the centerpiece of the Danish attack Rasmus Hojlund co-top scorer in the competition with Lukaku (6 goals) has been hit in the back since the restart. His coach has already clarified that he will not play the whole of the two meetings.
With the new qualification rules which come into force for this Euro, it is difficult to be certain about the nations which will compromise their chances with bad results on this truce. Only certainty, the first two of each pool will be directly qualified for the Euro just like Germany (host country). The last three tickets will be distributed in three joint mini-competitions among the remaining teams based on performance in the last Nations League.