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Euro 2024 Football News

UEFA Euro 2024: Day 2 Match Previews | Predictions | Fantasy XIs

Rahul Naresh Rahul Naresh

Day 2 of UEFA Euro 2024 will see three fixtures take place, the first of which will be between defending champions Italy and Albania at Signal Iduna Park. The second encounter will see Poland face off against the Netherlands at the Volksparkstadion, while the final match of the day will be between Slovenia and Denmark at the MHPArena.

Match 1: Italy v Albania | 12:30 am IST | June 16 

Italy enter UEFA Euro 2024 on the back of six unbeaten fixtures across all competitions. In their latest friendly match against Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Italians managed to secure a 1-0 victory, with Davide Frattesi being the game’s only goal-scorer.

The important thing to notice is that Luciano Spalletti is likely to employ a five-at-the-back system, which will allow his fullbacks to bomb forward and support the attack. Expect the left-sided wingback Federico Dimarco to be the more advanced of the two fullbacks.

On the other hand, one would expect Albania, who come into this match as underdogs, to sit back and hit on the counter. Despite coming in as second favourites, Albania have recorded back-to-back wins in the previous two friendlies against Liechtenstein and Azerbaijan. Their star #9 Armando Broja will have to shoulder much of the responsibility in terms of goal-scoring.

Team News 

One of the biggest misses for Italy will be the presence of defender Francesco Acerbi, who pulled out of his team’s squad for the 2024 Euros after picking up an injury. Alessandro Buongiorno is likely to compete for Acerbi’s starting spot.

Another key player missing for the Italians is Spurs left-back Destiny Udogie, who enjoyed a stellar debut season with them and would have likely entered this competition full of confidence. However, the presence of Dimarco on the left side may be enough to cover for his absence.

Lastly, Spalletti will hope Nicolò Barella returns to action in the midfield before this encounter, given he is currently recovering from a thigh injury. 

Form Guide

Italy 

Form (all competitions, most recent first): W-D-W-W-D
Most recent result: Italy 1-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Friendly
European Qualifying: Finished 2nd in Group C with 14 points.

Albania

Form (all competitions, most recent first): W-W-L-L-D
Most recent result: Albania 3-1 Azerbaijan, Friendly 
European Qualifying: Finished 1st in Group E with 15 points 

Prediction 

Given the stature and names Italy possess, this game should be in the bag for them. With Croatia and Spain left to play as the other teams in this group, it is likely that Italy see this tie against Albania as a sure-shot three points. With most of the squad fit, it seems extremely likely that Italy start off their campaign on a winning note.

Italy 2-0 Albania

Predicted Fantasy XI

Goalkeeper: Thomas Strakosha
Defenders: Elseid Hysaj, Federico Dimarco, Alessandro Bastoni
Midfielders: Nicolo Barella, Jorginho, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nedim Bajrami
Forwards: Armando Broja, Federico Chiesa, Gianluca Scamacca 
Captain: Gianluca Scamacca 
Vice-captain: Federico Chiesa

Match 2: Poland v Netherlands | 6:30 pm IST | June 16 

Poland are placed in a rather tricky group and could find it pretty hard to get out of it. They’re up against the Netherlands, France, and Austria, with increasing concerns about how the team will fair with troubles at the top of the pitch.

At least for this match, the expectation will be for the Netherlands to enjoy most of the ball, with Poland looking to hit on the counter. They usually employ a system with five at the back, which allows the wingbacks to head forward and deliver crosses towards their main man and captain, Robert Lewandowski.

The Dutch possess superior talent in their squad and have some exciting names going into this competition. Cody Gakpo and Xavi Simons may be needed to occupy the wide places, and the latter of the two will enjoy picking the ball up and running at the opposition’s defence. Especially in this match, Simons could get the better of Arsenal defender Jakub Kiwior, who may be used as a left centre-back. The Gunners man lacks pace and is slightly weak when it comes to one-on-one defending.

Team News 

As far as the team news is concerned for Poland, fans may be worried after Robert Lewandowski was forced off in their 2-1 win against Turkey in a recent friendly. However, it has been reported that the FC Barcelona striker felt something in his muscle and the withdrawal was merely precautionary, suggesting that he will be fit for the match against the Dutch.

One player who is certainly out of contention for Poland is Arkadiusz Milik, who wasn’t even included in the country’s final squad for the 2024 Euros after suffering an injury in a friendly against Ukraine. Therefore, Lewandowski’s fitness is extremely key.

As far as injuries are concerned for the Netherlands, they’ve suffered a big blow as Barça midfielder Frenkie de Jong has been ruled out of UEFA Euro 2024 altogether after failing to recover from an ankle injury. AC Milan midfielder Tijjani Reijnders will have to step in for De Jong.

Form Guide

Poland

Form (all competitions, most recent first): W-W-D-W-W
Most recent result: Poland 2-1 Turkey, Friendly
European Qualifying: Finished 3rd in Group E with 11 points 

Netherlands

Form (all competitions, most recent first): D-W-W-D-L
Most recent result: Netherlands 4-0 Iceland, Friendly
European Qualifying: Finished 2nd in Group B with 18 points

Prediction 

Poland have problems with the fitness of certain key players, and they don’t boast the strongest of squads in this competition anyway. Given the superior quality of players that the Netherlands possess, they should get the job done, albeit by a not-too-big margin.

Poland 0-1 Netherlands

Predicted Fantasy XI

Goalkeeper: Wojciech Szczesny
Defenders: Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake, Denzel Dumfries, Jan Bednarek
Midfielders: Piotr Zielinski, Jerdy Schouten
Forwards: Robert Lewandowski, Xavi Simons, Memphis Depay, Cody Gakpo
Captain: Memphis Depay
Vice-captain: Xavi Simons

Also read: UEFA Euro 2024 Sponsors

Match 3: Slovenia v Denmark | 9:30 pm IST | June 16

Slovenia face a group comprising Denmark, Serbia, and England, thereby having a good opportunity to progress further in the competition. However, a lot will depend on their players on either side of the pitch. The experienced goalkeeper Jan Oblak will surely have his hands full during the group stages of the 2024 Euros, and their young striker Benjamin Šeško will have to take most opportunities that come his way if Slovenia are to go deep. They finished level on points with Denmark in the qualifiers, so expect this to be a close encounter.

Denmark will go into this match with a lot of confidence based on their performance when these two teams met during the qualification stage in November last year. They enjoyed 66% possession and took 12 shots while barely allowing Slovenia to get into the game. Therefore, they are the slight favourites going into this tie. Moreover, Christian Eriksen’s presence will be a huge boost after his cardiac arrest in the last Euros.

Team News 

At the moment, Denmark head into the game against Slovenia with no injured players, so head coach Kasper Hjulmand has a talented bunch to pick from. 

As for Slovenia, they too have a full squad to pick from, with Josip Ilicic also retuning to the side.

Form Guide

Slovenia

Form (all competitions, most recent first): D-W-W-D-W
Most recent result: Slovenia 1-1 Bulgaria, Friendly 
European Qualifying: Finished 2nd in Group H with 22 points 

Denmark

Form (all competitions, most recent first): W-W-W-D-L
Most recent result: Denmark 3-1 Norway, Friendly 
European Qualifying: Finished top of Group H with 22 points 

Prediction 

Although this is poised to be a close encounter, Denmark have the edge in terms of quality on the pitch. The likes of Eriksen and Rasmus Højlund, who play Premier League football, could be instrumental in proving to be the difference makers.

Slovenia 0-1 Denmark

Predicted Fantasy XI

Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak
Defenders: Andreas Christensen, Joakim Mæhle, Jaka Bijol, Simon Kjær
Midfielders: Pierre-Emile Kordt Højbjerg, Christian Nørgaard, Christian Eriksen
Forwards: Rasmus Højlund, Benjamin Šeško, Jonas Wind
Captain: Rasmus Højlund
Vice-captain: Christian Eriksen

Also Read
UEFA Euro 2024 Sponsors
Euro 2024: Favourites, Predictions, Place Your Bets in India With Expert Advice
Top 10 players to look out for at UEFA Euro 2024
Top 5 Dark Horses for UEFA Euro 2024
UEFA Euro 2024: When it Starts, Where it Is Taking Place, Which Teams Are Participating

UEFA Euro 2024: Day 2 Match Previews | Predictions | Fantasy XIs
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