How are the home nations shaping up in the Euro 2024 qualifiers before the final round of games?

How are the home nations shaping up in the Euro 2024 qualifiers before the final round of games?

The European Championships, or Euros, is always a fun international football tournament full of the best teams, then highest drama, and loads of goals. After the Covid-hit, continent-spanning tournament of 2020 (played in 2021 and the final at Wembley), it is back to a more ‘normal’ and traditional tournament format this coming summer. Germany are the hosts in what promises to be a festival of football and one of the last times we can expect to experience a fantastic tournament of football in just one country (future editions of the Euros and World Cups look set to be played across multiple countries – and continents in the case of the World Cup). If you are hoping to see your nation in the tournament next year and want to see their names in your football predictor game that you play with your friends and colleagues, we’re here to give you all the information you need.

Last time out the international break brought great joy to supporters of both England and Scotland, as the two sides booked their places at next summer’s tournament in Germany. With two more rounds of games to go this leaves time for experimentation and celebration in equal measure. For Wales there is still hope of qualifying, whilst Northern Ireland are playing for pride after a dismal campaign so far.

When does the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign finish?

There are two more rounds of games to go in the group phase of qualification for the European Championships next summer. Beyond that, 12 more teams will compete in a playoff to decide the remaining 3 places. The key dates are:

  • Matchday 9 = November 15th-18th, 2023
  • Matchday 10 = November 19th-21st, 2023
  • Play-off semi-finals = March 21st, 2024
  • Play-off finals = March 26th, 2024

England

Remaining fixtures:

  • Malta (h) Friday 17th November 7.45pm
  • North Macedonia (a)Monday 20th November 7.45pm

After bagging a first win against Italy at home since 1977 in the last round of fixtures, early qualification taking the pressure off, and Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham currently playing as the star players for two of the biggest clubs in the World in Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively, it is no wonder that England fans are hopeful of winning the whole thing next year. England always seem to make light work of their qualification group and have done so again despite a relatively tough group that includes Ukraine and reigning champions Italy. 5 wins and 1 draw from the games so far showcase the English pedigree at this standard. Harry Kane continues to smash records and his goalscoring prowess could be the key to England finally breaking their long barren run in international tournament football.

Scotland

Remaining fixtures:

  • Georgia (a) Thursday 16th November 5pm
  • Norway (h) Sunday 19th November 7.45pm

Belief has steadily grown over the course of Steve Clarke’s tenure, with the statement Hampden Park win over Spain early in the group the sign that this could be the real deal for this current Scotland side. Although they qualified for Euro 2020 (played in 2021), they played 2 of their 3 games at home and were unconvincing in a group stage knockout. Germany next year will be fun for the travelling Tartan Army who always travel in huge numbers and will create a party atmosphere wherever they play. They did get battered 4-1 by France in their last game, so there is that niggling worry that Scotland won’t perform well against the big boys, but then they can always point at the Spain victory earlier in the year as evidence that they have the capability – five wins out of six games is impressive for any team, including wins over Erling Haaland’s Norway team and a creditable performance in defeat away in Spain.

Wales

Remaining fixtures:

  • Armenia (a) Saturday 18th November 2pm
  • Turkiye (h) Tuesday 21st November 7.45pm

For the majority of the last year, it has been doom and gloom amongst the Welsh supporters. After a very poor showing at the World Cup last year and retirement for talisman Gareth Bale, the performances on the pitch have been difficult to watch, despite a last-gasp equaliser in Croatia in matchday one and victories home and away against Latvia. A heavy defeat to Armenia at home saw many fans calling for Rob Page’s head. Things change quickly in football though, and the impressive victory at home to Croatia last time out has put qualification in the hands of the Red Dragons. Win both their games against Armenia and already-qualified Turkiye, and they’ll be in Germany next year at the expense of Luka Modric et al. Unbelievable really.

Northern Ireland

Remaining fixtures:

  • Finland (a) Friday 17th November 5pm
  • Denmark (h) Monday 20th November 7.45pm

In the last international break, Northern Ireland finally managed to bring a run of five consecutive defeats to an end with a 3-0 home win against San Marino but followed that up three days later with defeat to Slovenia at Windsor Park. A small national pool of players to choose from, and long-term injuries to some of their key players of the past decade or so, has left the fanbase disheartened. Even the return of hero Michael O’Neill hasn’t cheered things up, and there is a long way back for him to repeat the storied success of his team that he managed to the knockout stages of Euro 2016. The idea now must surely be to blood youngsters and look to World Cup qualification and a ‘home’ Euros in 2028 as Casement Park is one of the venues for the UK and Ireland edition of the tournament.

We know for sure that when you first set up your Euros 2024 football predictor game and invite friends and colleagues to your league next summer, that you’ll be deciding on scores involving England and Scotland. The Tartan army will be out in force next summer, and the England fans will be expecting their side to go one step further and lift the trophy after painful defeat at home to Italy last time out. Can Wales qualify for a third European Championship in a row? It’s in their hands, but we’ll see how they cope with the pressure in the upcoming November games. Northern Ireland are completely out of contention so must look to the future and prepare for the World Cup 2026 qualifiers next year and beyond.

Irene Fowler

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