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Euro 2024: Group A preview and team guide

The European Championship is round the corner and ahead of the action we have profiled each of the 24 competing teams.

Group A features host nation Germany, who will take on Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland in their bid to reach the knockout stages.

Euro 2024: Group A preview and team guide

Germany

  • Head coach: Julian Nagelsmann
  • Key player: Toni Kroos
  • One to watch: Florian Wirtz
  • FIFA Ranking: 16
  • Best Euro performance: Winners (1972, 1980, 1996)

Germany arrive into the tournament ranked only 16th in the world, a drop for a football powerhouse that has come alongside a record of just four wins from 11 games since the start of 2023.

Julian Nagelsmann signed a short-term deal to take over from Hansi Flick in September and has since extended his contract. After a false start, wins over France and the Netherlands during March’s international break have increased confidence ahead of a home tournament.

Toni Kroos is back in the squad after being persuaded out of international retirement, in what will be a football farewell for the influential midfielder as he prepares to hang up his boots following the tournament.

The 34-year-old has been exceptional for Real Madrid this season and is expected to feature in midfield alongside Joshua Kimmich, with the task of supplying an exciting creative cast containing Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz. The latter was named as the Bundesliga’s Player of the Season following Leverkusen’s title success and could shine on the biggest stage this summer.

The Germans have reached the semi-finals in three of the last four European Championships, though have not progressed past the last 16 in any of their last three major tournaments (2018 World Cup, Euro 2020 and 2022 World Cup).

Scotland

  • Head coach: Steve Clark
  • Key player: John McGinn
  • One to watch: Lawrence Shankland
  • FIFA Ranking: 39
  • Best Euro performance: Group stage (1992, 1996 and 2020)

Scotland have reached successive European Championships for the first time in almost three decades, following a strong qualification campaign that saw Steve Clark’s side earn impressive wins over Spain and Norway.

Scott McTominay’s brilliant goalscoring form helped Scotland qualify, with the Manchester United midfielder scoring seven times – only four players managed more across Euro 2024 qualification.

Midfield appears the area of strength for the Scottish, with a group consisting of McTominay, John McGinn, Ryan Christie and Billy Gilmour offering all-action energy. The absence of Lewis Ferguson – named Serie A Midfielder of the Year for the 2023–24 season after helping Bologna to Champions League qualification – due to an ACL injury is a big blow.

Andy Robertson will captain Scotland and is the nation’s best and most decorated player, while Lawrence Shankland will hope for a starting role after scoring 59 goals across the last two seasons for Hearts. Whisper it, but Scotland have a real opportunity to reach the knockout rounds for the first time

Hungary

  • Head coach: Marco Rossi
  • Key player: Dominik Szoboszlai
  • One to watch: Roland Sallai
  • FIFA Ranking: 26
  • Best Euro performance: Third place (1964)

Hungary have not featured in a World Cup since 1986 but will take to the European Championship for the third straight edition this summer.

The Magyars will hope to do better than a winless group stage exit at Euro 2020, after a strong qualification campaign that saw them top a group containing Serbia without losing a game.

Liverpool’s Dominik Szoboszlai is the captain and leading light of the team, while Roland Sallai introduced himself to an English audience with two goals in a stunning 4-0 win at Wembley in June 2022. Keep an eye out too for Sunderland’s Callum Styles. The Bury-born midfielder has won 20 caps for Hungary since deciding to represent the nation of his grandparents.

Hungary enter Euro 2024 in good form having gone 14 internationals without defeat, last losing to Italy in September 2022.

Switzerland

  • Head coach: Murat Yakin
  • Key player: Granit Xhaka
  • One to watch: Noah Okafor
  • FIFA Ranking: 19
  • Best Euro performance: Quarter-finals (2020)

Switzerland reached the last eight at Euro 2020 and will be hoping to produce another strong tournament, having eliminated then-world champions France before exiting to Spain on penalties en route to a best-ever finish.

Head coach Murat Yakin has preferred a three-man backline during his tenure, leaning on Switzerland’s area of strength. In Manchester City’s Manuel Akanji, Newcastle defender Fabian Schar, and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Nico Elvedi, the Swiss have centre-backs comfortable operating at the highest level. Behind them, veteran Yann Sommer has had an excellent season at Inter Milan, recording a club-record 19 clean sheets during his side’s Serie A title success.

Granit Xhaka will captain the side and is the engine of Yakin’s team. The 30-year-old was integral to Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten title triumph in the Bundesliga this season. Switzerland’s best football will run through him.

Read – Euro 2000 – Zidane’s zenith as France reign supreme

See more – Euro 2004 – Charisteas completes Greek miracle in Lisbon

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