UEFA Euro 2024: Day 1 Match Previews | Predictions | Fantasy XIs

UEFA Euro 2024: Day 1 Match Previews | Predictions | Fantasy XIs

June 13, 2024

UEFA Euro 2024 kicks off this week.

This is going to be the last European Championship of its kind, with Germany being the only host nation, hoping to make further history by becoming only the second host nation to win the European Championship since France in 1984. 

To kick off the tournament, we have three fixtures on Day 1, with Germany taking on Scotland at the Allianz Arena. For the second Group A fixture, Hungary will take on Switzerland at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne, while it’ll be the two heavyweights Spain and Croatia locking horns at the Olympiastadion, Berlin, to round off the first day of the tournament. 

Match 1: Germany v Scotland | 12:30 am IST | June 15 

The hosts are coming into the curtain-raiser with confidence, having beaten quality sides like Spain and the Netherlands during the March international break.

Despite just seven games under his belt as the Germany men’s national football team head coach, Julian Nagelsmann seems to have found the right balance with his squad after losing to both Austria and Turkey prior to those impressive victories.

Moreover, with the likes of Kai Havertz and Pascal Groß hitting form at the right time, as well as the return of midfield general Toni Kroos, the Germans will be looking to get their campaign started with a comfortable win. 

Steve Clarke’s Scotland side are still trying to strike a balance between keeping a solid structure and hurting their opposition in the other half. They have decent options in wide areas to hurt anyone on any given day.

However, not having a potent striker or spark of brilliant finishing in their wide forward areas will make it difficult for the Scots to overcome the European powerhouses. Having kept just two clean sheets in their last ten games, Scotland will find it very difficult to keep the hosts quiet at the Allianz. 

Team News 

Given the abundance of talent Germany have in the wide areas, in the #9 role, Kai Havertz and Niklas Füllkrug will have the responsibility of feeding the wingers Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz, which will give licence to the likes of Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gündogan to roam freely and attack the box when necessary. 

With no major injury concerns, the Germans will field a similar team to the one that recently won against Greece 2-1, with both Nico Schlotterbeck and Groß coming in. 

Steve Clarke is expected to field a back-three/back-five system. However, Scotland’s biggest concern lies elsewhere, as injuries to certain key players have already made Clarke reconsider his options in the build-up to the tournament. 

More recently, Liverpool fullback Andy Robertson left Monday’s training session following injury scares, while Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland did not take part in the full session either. Midfielder Stuart Armstrong, meanwhile, only returned to training after recovering from a muscle injury and went through an individual programme. 

Form Guide


Form (all competitions, most recent first): W-D-W-W-W
Most recent result: Germany 2-1 Greece, Friendly
European Qualifying: Host Country 


Form (all competitions, most recent first): D-W-L-L-D
Most recent result: Scotland 2-2 Finland, Friendly 
European Qualifying: Finished 2nd in Group A with 17 points 


The hosts should have more than enough ammunition in their arsenal to make light work of an undercooked and injury-hit Scotland side. However, in recent years, the Germans have struggled to find the back of the net despite being the superior side on many occasions, their lack of clinical finishers being their biggest Achilles heel. Thus, I’d go with a narrow 2-1 victory. 

Germany 2-1 Scotland 

Predicted Fantasy XI

Goalkeeper: Angus Gunn
Defenders: Andy Robertson, Joshua Kimmich, Nico Schlotterbeck 
Midfielders: Toni Kroos, Billy Gilmour, Ryan Christie, Ilkay Gündogan, Jamal Musiala 
Forwards: Kai Havertz, Florian Wirtz
Captain: Florian Wirtz
Vice-captain: Kai Havertz 

Match 2: Hungary v Switzerland | 6:30 pm IST | June 15 

Marco Rossi’s Hungary have been on a great run of form in the lead-up to the 2024 Euros. Despite an uncharacteristic defeat at the hands of Ireland in a friendly encounter, the Hungarians have looked solid at the back, with their back-three and attacking wingbacks system giving very little space to their opposition to create opportunities.

Moreover, unlike UEFA Euro 2020, where they lost all three group games, this time Hungary have their talisman Dominik Szoboszlai to look up to. With a squad full of talent across Europe’s top five leagues, could they be this year’s dark horses?

Although the Swiss haven’t had any deep runs into any of the major tournaments in recent years, their consistency speaks for itself. Alongside France, they are the only country to reach the knockout stages of the last five major tournaments. Attacking-wise, they do lack some quality, though their solid defensive structure, alongside a robust midfielder, makes them one of the teams to avoid in cup competitions. 

Team News 

Other than Szoboszlai coming off in the 57th minute during their 3-0 win against Israel with a stiff thigh, Rossi has a full complement of players to choose from. Given that the 3-4-3 system has worked so well for him in the last 12 months or so, there’s no need for the Italian to try something new. 

As much as both the teams will want to win this match, neither of them will want to lose and give the other team an advantage either. Similar to Hungary, the Swiss will also be looking to keep things compact, with both Fabian Schär and Manuel Akanji returning to the mix. 

Form Guide


Form (all competitions, most recent first): W-L-W-W-W
Most recent result: Hungary 3-0 Israel, Friendly
European Qualifying: Finished 1st in Group G with 18 points 


Form (all competitions, most recent first): D-W-W-D-L
Most recent result: Switzerland 1-1 Austria, Friendly 
European Qualifying: Finished 2nd in Group I with 17 points


With both teams looking at this game as one that could decide the second place, I see this resulting in both teams playing over-cautiously, waiting for the other team to commit a mistake. Both their defensive structures and not-so-potent attacks point towards a stalemate. 

Hungary 1-1 Switzerland 

Predicted Fantasy XI

Goalkeeper: Péter Gulácsi
Defenders: Fabian Schär, Manuel Akanji, Willi Orbán, Ádám Lang,
Midfielders: Dominik Szoboszlai, Granit Xhaka, Dan Ndoye
Forwards: Xherdan Shaqiri, Roland Sallai, Ruben Vargas
Captain: Dominik Szoboszlai 
Vice-captain: Xherdan Shaqiri 

Also read: UEFA Euro 2024 Sponsors

Match 3: Spain v Croatia | 9:30 pm IST | June 15 

The Spaniards come into the tournament as one of favourites to go all the way. Under head coach Luis de la Fuente, Spain are playing some scintillating football. With a team full of superstars and young up-and-coming world-beaters, on paper there’s not a single weakness in this Spanish side.

However, the only question that remains is whether their young guns have the temperament to lead Spain to their first major honour since 2012. 

The Croats, on the other hand, know all about deep runs into major global competitions. They made the finals of the 2018 World Cup, reached the Nations League final (which they lost to Spain), and finished third in the 2022 World Cup.

This will likely be Luka Modric’s last major tournament. Heading into the tournament, Croatia have won eight in ten, which also includes six clean sheets. Can Zlatko Dalic mastermind another deep run for Croatia at the 2024 Euros?

Team News 

With no injury concerns ahead of their opening fixture, De la Fuente has a full squad at his disposal. Dani Olmo, who was side-lined with a thigh muscle injury, returned to the bench in their last friendly fixture. Thus, it’ll be interesting to see whether the coach rushes the 26-year-old back to his playing XI ahead of their opening game at the Olympiastadion. 

Similar to their counterparts, Croatia are also free from injuries heading into their first game. More importantly, most of their starters are well rested ahead of this key fixture, with the likes of Borna Sosa, Bruno Petkovic, and Luka Ivanušec all expected to come back into the playing XI. 

Form Guide


Form (all competitions, most recent first): W-W-D-L-W
Most recent result: Spain 5-1 N. Ireland, Friendly 
European Qualifying: Finished top of Group A with 21 points 


Form (all competitions, most recent first): W-W-W-W-W 
Most recent result: Portugal 1-2 Croatia, Friendly 
European Qualifying: Finished 2nd in Group D with 16 points 


Despite Croatia’s solid defensive structure, the Spain setup consists of match-winners all across the pitch. Moreover, recent history suggests the Croats have also struggled to find the back of the net in the major tournaments. Thus, I’d go with a narrow 1-0 victory to Spain. 

Spain 1-0 Croatia 

Predicted Fantasy XI

Goalkeeper: Dominik Livakovic
Defenders: Joško Gvardiol, Josip Šutalo, Dani Carvajal, Robin Le Normand
Midfielders: Luka Modric, Dani Olmo, Mikel Oyarzabal, Rodri 
Forwards: Alvaro Morata, Ferran Torres
Captain: Ferran Torres
Vice-captain: Dani Olmo 

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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