Today’s Euro 2024 matches preview:

Portugal take on Czech Republic at Leipzig Stadium

One of the favourites for this summer’s European Championship will take to the field on Tuesday evening, with Portugal opening their Euro 2024 campaign against the Czech Republic at Leipzig Stadium.

Portugal are being tipped as challengers for the trophy in Germany, while the Czech Republic will be bidding to progress from a section which also includes Turkey and Georgia.

Portugal famously triumphed at Euro 2016, and they have reached the semi-finals of this tournament on a further three occasions, but they were knocked out in the last-16 stage of Euro 2020.

The Iberian nation then reached the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup, with Roberto Martinez taking charge soon after the competition, and there have been plenty of positive signs under the Spaniard.

France, England and Germany are considered to be the three favourites to win Euro 2024, but Portugal are also expected to be in the mix due to the talent and experience in their star-studded squad.

A Selecao das Quinas will enter their Group F opener off the back of a 3-0 success over Republic of Ireland in an international friendly, with a certain Cristiano Ronaldo coming up with a brace.

Portugal have actually lost two of their last four matches, but they are the heavy favourites to top this section, which also includes Turkey and Georgia, with definitely two but potentially three teams progressing.

Martinez’s side will face Turkey in their second match in Group F on June 22, before finishing their section against Georgia on June 26, with the knockout round of the competition beginning soon after.

Czech Republic, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 victory over North Macedonia in their final warm-up fixture for the tournament on June 10.

Ivan Hasek‘s team are on a run of five straight wins in all competitions, including their final Euro 2024 qualification match against Moldova last November, while they have since beaten Norway, Armenia, Malta and North Macedonia in friendly fixtures.

Czech Republic were runners-up at Euro 1996, while they made the semi-finals in 2004 and have reached the quarter-finals in two of their last three tournaments, including at Euro 2020.

Winners as Czechoslovakia in 1976, the national side are capable of making an impression this summer, with a solid qualification campaign for Euro 2024 seeing them pick up 15 points from their eight matches, finishing ahead of Poland in Group E.

Czech Republic have lost four of their previous five matches against Portugal, including a 4-0 defeat when the two countries last locked horns in the UEFA Nations League in September 2022.



Turkey & Georgia meet at Dortmund

Group F at Euro 2024 will get underway on Tuesday evening in Dortmund,with Turkey and Georgia locking horns for what is likely to be a very important match in the section.

Portugal and Czech Republic are also present in the group, and while the former are the huge favourites to finish at the summit, the other three teams will be eyeing second position.

Hakan Calhanoglu, Turkey

Turkey’s best-ever performance in a European Championship came back in 2008, when they reached the semi-finals of the competition, but they were eliminated in the group stage of both Euro 2016 and Euro 2020.

The Crescent-Stars will be expecting to pick up enough points to progress to the round of 16 from this section, though, and they will be the favourites to overcome Georgia on matchday one.

Vincenzo Montella‘s side will enter the tournament off the back of a 2-1 defeat to Poland, and they have not actually been victorious in any of their last five matches, suffering three defeats in the process.

Turkey’s final Euro 2024 qualification fixture ended in a 1-1 draw with Wales on November 21, but a strong campaign saw them top Group D ahead of Croatia, picking up 17 points from their eight matches.

The national side will be tackling Georgia for just the sixth time on Tuesday, and they have been victorious in three of their previous five match-ups, including a 3-1 success when the two sides last locked horns in an international friendly back in May 2012.

Georgia, meanwhile, are preparing to take to the field at a major tournament for the first time in their history, and it will be fascinating to see how the national side perform this summer.

Willy Sagnol‘s side beat Greece on penalties in the playoffs to secure their spot at the tournament, and they have only actually played once since that historic night, beating Montenegro 3-1 in a friendly on June 9.

Whether a lack of preparation hurts them remains to be seen, but the fixture list in the group could work in their favour, as they will avoid Portugal until matchday three, and Roberto Martinez‘s side could potentially have booked their spot in the knockout round by that point, which would likely lead to key players being rested.

Georgia’s standout player is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, with the 23-year-old, who plays his club football for Napoli, scoring 15 goals in 30 appearances for his national side.

However, Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili, Slovan Bratislava’s Guram Kashia and Watford’s Giorgi Chakvetadze are also notable inclusions, and there is no question that the Crusaders have the talent to surprise a few at this summer’s tournament.



Samartex to receive GH¢500k for winning Ghana Premier League as Kotoko pocket GH¢60k

Samartex will receive GH¢500,000 (over $33,000) for clinching their first Ghana Premier League title.

In only their second season, they defied expectations and were crowned champions on Sunday in a vibrant ceremony in Samreboi.

Aside from the trophy and medals, the champions are awarded GH¢500,000, a significant increase from the GH¢300,000 awarded to last season’s champions, Medeama.

FC Samartex

Teams finishing in the top 10 will also receive monetary rewards. Giants Asante Kotoko, finishing sixth, will receive GH¢60,000. However, former champions Hearts of Oak, narrowly escaping relegation to 14th place, will receive no prize money.

Accra Lions, finishing second, will receive GH¢200,000. Third-placed Berekum Chelsea will get GH¢100,000, and fourth-placed Aduana will receive GH¢80,000.

Other rewards include Nsoatreman (GH¢70,000 for fifth), Nations (GH¢50,000 for seventh), Medeama (GH¢40,000 for eighth), Dreams (GH¢30,000 for ninth), and Bechem United (GH¢20,000 for tenth).

Samartex, celebrating their historic achievement, will use the prize money to prepare for the next season and their participation in the CAF Champions League.

However, they will seek additional investment, especially from corporate sponsors, to meet the demands of continental competition.



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