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Euro 2024 Group D preview


Now the Premier league has finished, it’s time to look forward to a very exciting football summer. In this article we preview on Group D of the Euro 2024 tournament.

Teams: Poland, Netherlands, Austria, France

Poland

FIFA ranking: 23

Key players: Robert Lewandowski, Piotr Zieliński, Wojciech Szczęsny

Coach: Czesław Michniewicz

Strengths:

  • Attacking: Led by the prolific Robert Lewandowski, Poland has a strong forward line capable of breaking down any defense.
  • Midfield creativity: With Piotr Zieliński pulling the strings in midfield, Poland can create scoring opportunities from various positions on the pitch.
  • Experienced squad: Many Polish players compete in top European leagues, bringing a wealth of experience and tactical awareness.

Weaknesses:

  • Defensive vulnerabilities: Poland has occasionally struggled with defensive lapses, especially against high-caliber opponents.
  • Depth issues: Beyond the starting XI, the bench lacks depth, which could be a problem in a tournament setting with potential injuries or suspensions.

Netherlands

FIFA ranking: 7

Key players: Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay

Coach: Ronald Koeman

Strengths:

  • Solid defense: Anchored by Virgil van Dijk, the Dutch defense is among the best in the tournament, known for its organization and resilience.
  • Midfield control: With players like Frenkie de Jong, the Netherlands excels in controlling possession and dictating the tempo of the game.
  • Attacking versatility: Memphis Depay and other forwards provide a dynamic and unpredictable attacking threat.

Weaknesses:

  • Inconsistency: The Netherlands has shown periods of inconsistency, particularly in converting chances into goals.
  • Injury concerns: Key players like van Dijk have had injury issues in the past, which could impact their performance. With Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay, two of the three key players are still injured.

Austria

FIFA ranking: 34

Key players: David Alaba, Marcel Sabitzer, Marko Arnautović

Coach: Franco Foda

Strengths:

  • Versatile players: David Alaba’s ability to play multiple positions provides tactical flexibility.
  • Midfield stamina: Players like Marcel Sabitzer bring energy and creativity to the midfield, capable of both defending and attacking.
  • Team cohesion: Austria often plays with a strong sense of unity and teamwork, making them a tough opponent to break down.

Weaknesses:

  • Goal scoring: Despite having talented forwards, Austria sometimes struggles to convert their chances into goals.
  • Defensive depth: While the starting defenders are solid, the lack of depth in defense could be an issue.

France

FIFA ranking: 2

Key players: Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann, N'Golo Kanté

Coach: Didier Deschamps

Strengths:

  • Star power: With world-class talents like Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann, France boasts one of the most formidable attacking lines.
  • Midfield mastery: N'Golo Kanté’s ability to dominate the midfield through his defensive work and passing is a significant asset. It was a bit of a surprise, but Didier Deschamps decided to get Kante back for the Euro 2024 squad.
  • Depth and quality: France has an embarrassment of riches in terms of squad depth, allowing for effective rotation without losing quality.

Weaknesses:

  • Pressure of expectations: As one of the favorites, the pressure to perform can be immense, sometimes leading to underwhelming performances.
  • Injury risks: With key players often involved in high-intensity club matches, the risk of injuries could impact their tournament performance.

Group D Outlook

Group D promises to be one of the most competitive groups in the tournament. France, with its star-studded lineup, is the favorite to top the group. However, the Netherlands, with their strong defensive organization and midfield control, will provide a stern test. Poland’s attacking threat and Austria’s cohesive team play add further intrigue, ensuring that every match in this group will be a must-watch.

Key Matches to watch:

  • France vs. Netherlands: A clash of titans that could determine the group winner.
  • Poland vs. Austria: A crucial match that might decide who progresses to the knockout stages.
  • Netherlands vs. Poland: A tactical battle that will showcase the attacking talents of both teams.

Each team will have to be at their best to advance from this challenging group, making for an exciting and unpredictable set of fixtures.

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