Euros 2024 has offered several talking points, if not the expected flair and excitement, considering the number and range of footballing talent participating. There have been some surprising upsets, we have also bid bye to the Belgium Golen Generation, and several of the big nations are yet to get firing.

Finally, the teams are down to 8 and it is still hard to see a clear favorite, not because they are all doing well but because most aren’t.  Here is our ranking as things stand, read along and see our favorite to win.

8) Portugal
It has to be Portugal because despite the talent at their disposal, they still have to rely on 41-year-old Pepe being their best player on the pitch, and the coach seemingly cannot bench an out-of-sorts Cristiano Ronaldo. Oh and based on results, they inspire the least confidence considering their tame defeat to Georgia and having to go to a penalty shootout with Slovenia.

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It does not help that they have Roberto Martinez as a coach because, after his performance with the aforementioned Belgium Golden Generation, it is a remarkable case of failing upwards that he is now a manager of a team seeing its exciting coterie of young talents and experienced stars coming to the fore. The Face France Next and this could easily be one of the most boring matches of the quarterfinals something you wouldn’t have otherwise said had this been announced before the tournament kicked off. Still, we fancy France going through.

7) Netherlands

The Netherlands has to be the most fortunate of teams in the tournament. They finished third and ended up drawing Romania in their Round of 16. They then face Turkey at the quarters. They have not been convincing in their displays being beaten by Austria and having to come from behind to beat a rather average Poland team. Sure they made easy work of Romania but they have not been tested sufficiently and Turkey and more sterner teams lie ahead. However, this so far is a much better showing than previous ones.

6) Turkey

Last Euros, Turkey was tipped as the dark horse and ended up having a miserable campaign. They came second in the group stages behind Portugal and lucked out by meeting the impressive Austria, against whom they were quite phenomenal. It may be three years too late but perhaps this Turkish team may be growing into its dark horse role, away from the glance of many.

The fact that they avoided the Netherlands or France in their draw gave them a chance to go further in the competition, which they capitalized on their. They now face a Dutch team growing into their own in the competition and it could make up for one of the more exciting ties of the quarterfinals.

5) France

One of the biggest underperformers in the tournament so far is France. With talent across the pitch that’s the envy of any nation in the world bar none, it is surprising that France are yet to score a proper goal and are where they are thanks to an own goal, a penalty, and a big deflection thus far. If the Portuguese team was firing this would have been an ominous match. Mbappe is yet to light up the tournament nor are any of his co-stars covering themselves with any glory. Still, we feel their tournament pedigree should just be enough to see off Portugal.

4) England

It is always coming home for England in any tournament, especially after their last World Cup performance and this excellent group of players. Yet, it seems like Portugal, first has to overcome the obstacle that is their coach. Credit to Gareth Southgate for getting the team spirit on and seeing off the old guard, while ensuring much of the conversation around the team was on football and not off-field issues. He has guided most of the young stars he had in the glorious England youth teams to the senior squad but had failed to take the next step.

He’s been quite stubborn in his selection and for the full squad and during games and as such England was bad against Serbia, really poor against Denmark, and maybe just minutely better than that against Slovenia. Fortunately, they still ended up top of their group and landed what on paper seemed an easy draw, but you couldn’t tell based on their performance against Slovakia in the round of 16. They come up against an upbeat Switzerland who have been one of the performers of the tournaments. England are being forced to a back three thanks to the odd decision of traveling with only one unfit left-back. This means further adjustments across the pitch for a team that is yet to gel, against a well-oiled Switzerland team, we are backing the underdogs on paper in this match.

3) Switzerland

Switzerland is the deserving dark horse of this tournament. They were brilliant in their group stage holding Germany to a draw and in the round of 16 easily dispatched off Italy. Their performance was exemplary against Italy and they should pose a stern test against England another sleeping giant. England switching to a back three should offer the Swiss an excellent chance to match them in what would be a tight match at the quarters, and we fancy the underdogs’ chances here unless it goes to penalties given the number of England team players deadly from the spot.

2) Germany

Germany’s players pose for photographers before the international friendly soccer match between Germany and France in Dortmund, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Germany has been one of the better teams in the tournament and it is a pity that this match is not the final. These two are some of the top-scoring sides and that is saying something in a tournament starved of goals. They had seven goals in their first two games and had the luck to pull an equalizer in the dying minutes against the Swiss. They have also had good luck with referee calls and they thwarted Denmark with little fuss. The quarters mean we are losing one of the favorites in this tournament and while Germans are the host, we are betting our money on the Spanish.

1) Spain

Three wins out of three in a seemingly hard group allowed them to get to the round of 16 without breaking much sweat. Better yet they did not even concede. If there is a side that seemed menacing heading to the quarters, it is Spain. They conceded only once that’s against Georgia but came back to win 4-1, they should be favorites against Germany and favorites to win the whole tournament.


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