Today’s Euro 2024 Matches Preview:

Germany title credentials to be tested in Hungary grudge match

Euro 2024 host Germany will get a better idea of whether its blend of youth and experience can sustain a title challenge when it takes on a Hungary side on Wednesday eager to bounce back from a disappointing result in its Group A opener. Germany ran riot in a 5-1 win over 10-man Scotland in the tournament’s first match while Hungary slipped to a 3-1 defeat against Switzerland.

Young forwards Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz gave Germany fans hope that a new era beckons for the national team but they will carry the memory of Hungary winning 1-0 in Leipzig in the Nations League in September 2022.

Germany is winless in its last three meetings against a Hungary side led by young captain Dominik Szoboszlai who was visibly frustrated in its opening defeat in Cologne as the tournament’s dark horse failed to get up to speed.

The 23-year-old did set up a goal for team mate Barnabas Varga and the duo will be key to their team’s chances of getting their first points on the board having both grabbed four goals in Hungary’s excellent qualifying campaign.

However, coach Marco Rossi knows that any of the same sloppiness that was on display from his side against the Swiss will be ruthlessly exploited by the Germans who play with a fluid intensity under manager Julian Nagelsmann.

The German coach employed Kai Havertz as a front man to draw space for Wirtz and Musiala to drive at defenders either side, a system likely to be used again as the team seek to wrap up a spot in the knockout stage.

However, Nagelsmann is wary of Hungary’s relationist system – where players are free to dictate the play between each other using their individual talents, rather than sticking to a positional doctrine and rigid formation.




Scotland seek to restore a sense of pride against Switzerland

Having suffered the heaviest-ever opening defeat at the men’s European Championships, Scotland seek to restore a sense of pride on Wednesday, when they resume Euro 2024 Group A against Switzerland in Cologne.


After Steve Clarke‘s men were embarrassed 5-1 by tournament hosts Germany, their Rossocrociati counterparts managed to avoid the same fate by defeating Hungary 3-1.

The Tartan Army’s party was the talk of the town before Scotland had the honour of kicking off the first match of this year’s European Championships, but the celebrations of their ardent supporters were quickly curtailed as a glorious German outfit ripped Clarke’s meek men to shreds in Munich.

Already rooted to fourth place in the Group A standings after Friday’s chastening experience, Scotland will be out of top-two contention with a defeat – no matter the scoreline in Germany and Hungary’s battle – and will be more or less consigned to the same fate with a draw, but Clarke’s men still have 180 minutes to save their Euros bacon.

While Scotland were left to dissect a lacklustre showing at the Allianz Arena, Switzerland deservedly went into the break two goals to the good against Hungary.

Scotland’s attackers barely saw the ball against Germany, partly thanks to Die Mannschaft’s brilliant display and partly due to their perpetually sloppy passing, and a sturdy Swiss side will not give too much away either.

While Yakin’s men did go to sleep briefly against Hungary, their three points were merited, and we can only envisage Switzerland sealing their top-two placement while inflicting familiar Euros misery on the Scots.


Croatia, Albania faceoff in in Group B

Both playing catch-up in Group BCroatia and Albania cannot afford to lose when they meet in Hamburg on Wednesday afternoon.

Having been beaten in their Euro 2024 openers last weekend, the two teams will aim to stay in contention for a place in the tournament’s knockout phase.

Kovacic, Croatia

Tipped by some pundits to finally bring home some silverware this summer, Croatia started their seventh European Championship appearance – and sixth in succession – with a humbling 3-0 defeat to Spain in Berlin.

Instead, Croatia must try to arrest a decline featuring three defeats from their last five competitive matches, having also been beaten by Turkey and Wales in qualifying – that is as many losses as throughout the previous 29.

While Croatia are seasoned campaigners at the Euros, this summer marks only Albania’s second appearance since gaining independence – both coming in the last three editions.

While the Croatian camp has yet to report any fresh injuries, Albania forward Jasir Asani is a major doubt due to an ankle problem. Therefore, Germany-born Arber Hoxha – who plays his club football for Dinamo Zagreb – may be promoted from the bench.

Either Rey Manaj or Chelsea’s Armando Broja should spearhead the Albanian attack, as Sokol Cikalleshi – a regular fixture during qualifying – was omitted from Sylvinho’s squad and subsequently announced his international retirement.

Once again, the central striker’s support comes from Sassuolo schemer Nedim Bajrami, who has recorded at least one goal involvement in each of his last three national team appearances – two goals and two assists.

The stakes are already high in these nations’ second Group B contest, as defeat would almost certainly mean elimination from Euro 2024.

While they did not impress in their opener, Croatia’s vast experience should see them past a committed Albania side that may well be bound for the exit.



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