Euro 2024

Group A Stat Pack: Best Bets for Germany, Switzerland, Hungary & Scotland

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann
Julian Nagelsmann is in charge of the host nation Germany

Euro 2024 is fast approaching, and in the first of our series of group previews, we've asked Kevin Hatchard to examine all four teams in Group A.

Betfair are offering customers a chance to earn a free bet each time the side they back to win Euro 2024 (£10 stake) scores a goal during the group stages. Do you opt for a side who is likely to go deep, like France, or, is your faith in a Portugal side who banged in 36 goals in 10 qualifying matches?

Romelu Lukaku is toward the top of the Golden Boot market after finishing the qualifying campaign as the top scorer with 14 goals - that was 64% of Belgium's 22 goals, so could he and the Red Devils be the side to back with the offer in mind?

Perhaps it is an outsider you fancy to surprise us all - like the much fancied Austria, Hungary or Ukraine, and a few goals in their opening three games could well pay you back for your faith in them before the tournament, and hope their big price takes you all the way!

Make sure you opt-in on the Betfair Sportsbook before the opening game and place a £10 bet (or £5 EW) in the Winner market to qualify!

Germany - 4/15.00 to win Euro 2024

It's amazing how quickly things can change in football. Before March's international break, the host nation was enveloped in gloomy clouds, but wins over France and the Netherlands have produced long-awaited rays of sunshine. A sceptical public are starting to be won over, and momentum is building.

Coach Julian Nagelsmann has committed to lead the side at the 2026 World Cup, and it seems he's hit upon a magic formula. In-form players from surprise packages Bayer Leverkusen and Stuttgart have been given the chance to shine on the big stage, and the system should be able to accommodate both of Germany's sparkling young number 10s, Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala.

If Germany can put group-stage exits at the last two World Cups behind them, they can start to enjoy the kind of fervour that gripped the country in the World Cup of 2006.

The Key Player - Toni Kroos

The return of Real Madrid's living legend Toni Kroos to the fold is a huge boost, and the classy midfielder will retire after the tournament. An outstanding passer, Kroos can give Germany a level of control and calm they have all too often lacked since he helped them win the World Cup in 2014.

The Goalscorer - Niclas Füllkrug

A late bloomer, Borussia Dortmund striker Füllkrug has overcome four knee operations in his career, and he is now a regular scorer for club and country. The old-school target-man has rattled in 11 goals in his first 15 caps, but he faces serious competition from Arsenal's Kai Havertz for the lone striker's position.

The Shooter - Jamal Musiala

Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala has already shown that he is a player for the big occasion. At the end of the 2022-23 season, when Bayern were in danger of losing the Bundesliga title race to Borussia Dortmund, Musiala netted an 89th-minute winner at Köln which took the meisterschale to Munich for the 11th consecutive season.

Musiala was arguably Germany's most consistent attacking threat at the World Cup in Qatar, but although he had 12 goal attempts across three group games, he failed to score and only hit the target three times. Finding the finishing touch can sometimes be the 21-year-old's problem, but I expect him to be shooting often at Euro 2024.

At club level this season, Musiala has had 89 goal attempts in 38 games, and he has had at least three goal attempts on 15 occasions. With Wirtz drawing defensive heat alongside him, Musiala should get space to play, and he is better value than Wirtz in the Young Player of the Tournament market at 7/18.00.

The Fouler - Robert Andrich

Julian Nagelsmann's decision to bring in-form players into his set-up makes a lot of sense, and that's certainly true in the case of Bayer Leverkusen enforcer Robert Andrich. The former Union Berlin midfielder has better technique than some give him credit for, but he is also happy to dole out rough treatment to opponents.

Andrich was often the minder for Granit Xhaka in the all-conquering Bayer Leverkusen midfield, and he'll probably play a similar role for Germany alongside Toni Kroos. Andrich averaged 1.22 fouls per 90 in the Bundesliga this season.

The Creator - Florian Wirtz

Bayer Leverkusen's creative spark is 21-year-old Florian Wirtz, and without him, Xabi Alonso's men simply wouldn't have been as effective and impressive as they were. Wirtz delivered 11 assists in the Bundesliga, scored a goal after seven seconds of the recent win over France, and he has done all this after recovering from a serious ACL injury.

Switzerland - 80/181.00 to win Euro 2024

Switzerland dumped mighty France out of Euro 2020, and made the last 16 in 2016. They have also reached the round of 16 in four of the last five World Cups. This is a team that knows how to negotiate a group stage, but the questions around coach Murat Yakin are getting louder.

Qualifying for these finals should have been more straightforward than it was, but the Nati won just four of ten qualifiers. The Swiss ended up trailing group winners Romania by five points, and by the end of the section they were only two points ahead of Israel.

Former Switzerland player Yakin insists he's not concerned by the criticism he has personally received, and believes that sharper finishing will make all the difference. There's no doubting the quality of the squad, and there are some players who have produced stunning seasons at club level.

Key Player - Yann Sommer

It was Sommer's heroics in a nerve-shredding penalty shootout that secured Switzerland's famous Euro 2020 win over France, and the veteran keeper is back to his best after a tough spell at Bayern Munich. Sommer was outstanding for Inter as they ran away with the Scudetto, but he knows he has to perform at a high level to see off the challenge of Borussia Dortmund's Gregor Kobel.

The Passer - Granit Xhaka

Having spearheaded Bayer Leverkusen's charge towards a domestic double, Granit Xhaka now hopes to play a key role in Switzerland's Euro 2024 campaign. The former Arsenal midfielder general has racked up a record 123 caps, and although he has only ever scored 14 goals for his country, he has proved time and time again this season that he is a danger from long range.

Xhaka attempted more passes than anyone in the Bundesliga this season, and completed the most too. He is also a fearsome tackler and a fine leader.

The Fouler - Remo Freuler

While Xhaka is no stranger to a yellow card, Bologna midfielder Remo Freuler actually committed more fouls than him in the Euro 2024 qualifiers. In Serie A this season he committed 1.51 fouls per 90, and picked up a hefty nine yellow cards.

The Creator - Xherdan Shaqiri

After scoring 30 goals in 121 international caps and some fine performances at major tournaments, Xherdan Shaqiri is a national treasure. While his performances for Chicago Fire in MLS haven't always yielded goals and assists (he has scored just two league goals this season), he delivered two goals and three assists in the Euro 2024 qualifiers. Shaqiri is full of ideas and mischief, and if the Swiss are to qualify, they'll need him on top form.

Hungary - 80/181.00 to win Euro 2024

Hungary were in a group of death at the last Euros, and although they performed admirably in draws against Germany and France, a heavy defeat against Portugal made for a poor start they couldn't recover from. Since then, Marco Rossi's team have shown they can compete with the big hitters in the Nations League - they won away to both Germany and England in 2022, and also beat England in Budapest.

They'll need that kind of quality performance to emerge from one of the toughest groups in the tournament, and they can take heart from the fact they didn't lose a single game in 2023. Indeed, the Magyars' last defeat was against Italy back in September 2022.

Tickets for Hungary's games will be some of the hottest in town, with over a million fans applying, and there is genuine affection for coach Rossi, who has led the nation for six years and has taken Hungarian citizenship. Reaching the knockout phase from such a demanding section would further cement his legacy.

Key Player - Dominik Szoboszlai

Rossi freely admits that the Liverpool midfielder is Hungary's most important player, and he is making up for lost time after injury cruelly denied him a place at Euro 2020. He is the captain, the most talented technician, and a player who is willing to work hard without the ball.

Szoboszlai has 12 goals in 40 caps, and his shooting technique is outstanding. Despite an uneven first season at Liverpool that saw him deliver just three Premier League goals, Szoboszlai is expected to carry the nation's hopes on his shoulders.

The Goalscorer - Roland Sallai

Freiburg's Sallai is a human dynamo, constantly fizzing with tricky and ideas. Just as likely to score with an overhead kick as he is with a tap-in, the 27-year-old brings an important dose of unpredictability to the team.

Sallai has 12 goals in 47 caps, and just had a season where he scored ten goals for club and country. A passionate performer, Sallai is no stranger to a booking - he picked up nine yellows in 42 games this term.

The Passer - Adam Nagy

It is baffling to many observers in Hungary that Adam Nagy is currently plying his trade in the second tier of Italian football. The 28-year-old has racked up 79 caps for his country, and is simply indispensable in his deep-lying midfield role.

Alongside a more adventurous midfielder like Callum Styles or Andras Schafer, Nagy will look to control the midfield engine room. He is an excellent passer of the ball, and can consistently find the likes of Sallai and Szoboszlai in more advanced positions.

The Fouler - Milos Kerkez

Fans of Bournemouth know that left-back Milos Kerkez is a passionate player who has an all-action style, and he went into more tackles than any other Hungarian player in the qualifiers.

The 20-year-old committed ten fouls in seven qualifiers for Hungary, picking up two yellow cards and a red. In the Premier League he was recently dismissed in Bournemouth's 1-0 win at Wolves.

Scotland - 100/1101.00 to win Euro 2024

After years in the international wilderness, Scotland have been led to back-to-back European Championships by boss Steve Clarke. Hundreds of thousands of Scotland fans are expected to descend upon Germany with or without tickets, but will the Tartan Army have a team to cheer beyond the group phase?

The qualifiers were certainly encouraging. Scotland beat Spain 2-0 at Hampden with a stirring display, and produced a stunning comeback win in Oslo against Norway. While they were eventually surpassed by Spain in the group standings, it mattered little.

Clarke has players at his disposal who have prominent roles at top Premier League clubs, and there is plenty of experience in the squad. However, Scotland have been recently dealt a major blow, with bustling striker Lyndon Dykes ruled out of the tournament by an injury picked up in training.

The Key Player - John McGinn

The Aston Villa midfielder has become a key player for club and country, and Unai Emery has done a far better job of maximising his potential than Steven Gerrard did at Villa Park. McGinn played more minutes than any other Scotland player in qualifying, scoring three goals and setting up two more.

McGinn has a decent goalscoring record of 18 goals in 64 caps, and this season alone he has rattled in 11 goals for club and country. The former Hibernian player picks up a fair few cards too - he was booked 12 times this season and was sent off against Spurs.

The Goalscorer - Scott McTominay

Often seen as a contributor of energy and leadership, the Manchester United has surprisingly added goals to his game for club and country. McTominay scored an impressive seven goals in qualifying, while for Manchester United he started the recent FA Cup final win over Manchester City, and he delivered ten club goals across the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League.

McTominay is strong in the air and cleverly times his runs into the box. With no elite striker at their disposal, Scotland may well be turning to McTominay once again for their firepower.

The Creator - Andy Robertson

Although injury meant he only played six of the qualifiers, captain Andy Robertson remains a hugely important figure in the team. The Liverpool left-back has racked up an enormous number of assists in his Premier League career, and when Steve Clarke uses three centre-backs, Robertson has license to raid forwards.

Despite an injury-hit season, Robertson still delivered three goals and two assists in the Premier League, and produced 97 Shot Creating Actions in just 23 games.

The Passer - Billy Gilmour

The Brighton metronome is an excellent passer of the ball, and if Clarke needs a player to try to control the tempo, he knows Gilmour can do the job. He played over 2000 minutes in the Premier League this season, and at just 22, he still has big potential.

Listen to Football...Only Bettor Euro 2024 preview with Alan Shearer

Now read Jimmy's Betfair Exchange tipping piece ahead of the tournament!

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