Three Dark Horses in this summer's Euro 2024
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Three Dark Horses in this summer's Euro 2024

17/05/24 16:05

Everybody loves an underdog story, and the European Championships has had its fair few. From Denmark winning it in 1992, when they originally did not even qualify, or Greece in 2004 winning the final against hosts Portugal; underdogs have had incredible victories at the Euro’s.

Some do not go all the way but still leave their mark on the tournament, such as Wales’s run to the semi-finals in 2016, beating a Belgium ‘super-team’ on the way. These nations that break through and surprise Europe have the fans gripped to their stories, and gain the support of millions. Here are three teams that I tip to do better than what you expect, and who knows, maybe win the whole thing?

Hungary

Topping their Euro 2024 qualifying group was one feat, but to do it unbeaten just shows how difficult a side they are to outscore. Hungary are currently on a run where they have only lost once in their last 14 competitive fixtures. In that time they have beaten Serbia, Germany, and England all away from home, perhaps most memorably beating England 4-0 at Molineux.

Hungary have already announced their squad for the tournament, with much of their squad now playing across Europe’s elite leagues. Much of their hopes will be pinned on Liverpool star Dominik Szoboszlai, who will look to carry on his good form this season into the Euro’s.

Hungary finds themselves in a tricky group with Scotland, Switzerland, and hosts Germany. Because of this group, outsiders may not have any expectations of Hungary to progress out of the group, however their stellar form building up to the tournament leads me to think that they may shock many.

Possible finish: Semi-finals

Austria

Back in Euro 2020, Austria finished second in their group, and were only knocked out by eventual champions Italy 2-1 in extra-time. This time round, they go into the tournament on the back of a fine display in the qualifications, easing through in second place, only one point behind Belgium, but nine ahead of third place Sweden.

Since qualifying, they have breezed past Germany, Slovakia, and Turkey in friendlies, scoring ten and only conceding one.

Austria still have not released their squad for the upcoming Euro’s, however, we know there will be some talent going to the tournament, through the likes of David Alaba, Marcel Sabitzer, and Konrad Laimer.

They find themselves in a group containing France and Netherlands, however, with the four best third place teams also qualifying, they still have a great chance of making it to the knockouts. With France looking to be the favourites again, they will most likely cruise through the group, but Austria may back themselves to beat Netherlands and even secure second.

Possible finish: Semi-finals

Scotland

Coming in as my last ‘underdog’ side is Scotland. Scotland flew out the blocks in their qualification group, winning their first five games. After qualification was secured, they seemed to step off the accelerator and ended up second in their group, behind Spain. Scott McTominay could prove to be a real asset for Scotland this summer. The Manchester United midfielder was the 5th top goalscorer in the qualifiers, scoring seven goals. Playing in his more advanced role for his country has caused defenders problems, and will continue to in the Euro’s.

A team full of Premier League talent will be in a group with Germany, Switzerland, and Hungary. They are facing hosts Germany in the opening game of the tournament, and will be looking to make their mark in front of the global audience.

Scotland have never reached the knockouts of a major tournament, but this side will be looking to reach that mark, and with a strong core to the side can cause major upsets in knockout football.

Possible finish: Semi-finals

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