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EURO 2024

Italy and Spain drawn together in Euro 2024 group stage

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England s football manager Gareth Southgate (R) and Denmark s head coach Kasper Hjulmand pose next to the trophy after the final draw for the UEFA Euro 2024 European Championship football competition in Hamburg, northern Germany on December 2, 2023. AFP

Reigning champions Italy were placed in the same group as Spain in Saturday’s draw for Euro 2024, while France will come up against the Netherlands.

Much-fancied England will meet Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia, with hosts Germany taking on Scotland in the tournament’s opening game on June 14 in Munich.

Italy, who beat England on penalties at Wembley in the final of the last European Championship in 2021, and Spain will also face Croatia and Albania in Group B.

Spain, victors over Italy in the final of Euro 2012, will take on 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia in their opening match in Berlin on June 15.

The meeting of France, the 2022 World Cup runners-up, and the Netherlands will be the other heavyweight tie of the opening phase.

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They were in the same section in qualifying, with France winning both encounters. The two nations are in Group D along with Austria and a play-off winner, which will be one of Poland, Wales, Finland or Estonia.

England, in contrast, will have few complaints about their opponents in Group C, although a Denmark side ranked 19th in the world were arguably the team to avoid from the second pot of seeds.

Gareth Southgate’s team, considered the favourites along with France for the tournament, will take on Serbia in their opening game in Gelsenkirchen on June 16.

Scotland, who famously lost to Brazil in the opening match of the 1998 World Cup, will again have the honour of featuring in the tournament’s curtain-raiser when they meet Germany to start in Group A.

Hungary and Switzerland complete that section, which could be one of the most evenly-matched

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Euro 2016 winners Portugal were drawn in Group F with Turkey, the Czech Republic and a play-off winner from either Greece, Georgia, Luxembourg or Kazakhstan.

Belgium are in Group E alongside Slovakia, Romania and the winner of the other play-off path, which will be Israel, Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Ukraine.

The month-long Euro will conclude with the final in Berlin on July 14.

The top two teams in each group will qualify for the last 16, along with the four best third-placed sides.

Group A
Germany
Scotland
Hungary
Switzerland

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Group B
Spain
Croatia
Italy
Albania

Group C
Slovenia
Denmark
Serbia
England

Group D
Play-off A
Netherlands
Austria
France

Group E
Belgium
Slovakia
Romania
Play-off B

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Group F
Turkey
Play-off C
Portugal
Czech Republic

-AFP

 

 

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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