Home » Germany targets Euro 2024 title at home, braces for Group A foes Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland

Germany targets Euro 2024 title at home, braces for Group A foes Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland

Germany targets Euro 2024 title at home, braces for Group A foes Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland

BERLIN – Host nation Germany is the heavyweight in its European Championship group though Scotland, Hungary and Switzerland are capable of causing an upset.

Scotland would relish springing a major surprise on Germany in the opening game in Munich on June 14.

Hungary drew with Germany 2-2 in Munich in the last edition of the tournament, a match overshadowed by LGBTQ protests. It could be an issue again when the teams play in Stuttgart on June 19.



FILE – The head coaches of Switzerland Murat Yakin, left,and Germany Julian Nagelsmann, right, pose next to the trophy after the draw for the UEFA Euro 2024 soccer tournament finals in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. Host nation Germany may be the heavyweight in its European Championship group, but any of Scotland, Hungary or Switzerland is capable of causing an upset in Group A. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

Germany was unable to beat Switzerland in their last two meetings. The Swiss, led by Bayer Leverkusen star Granit Xhaka, face Germany in Frankfurt on June 23.

Here is a closer look at Group A:

GERMANY

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann’s shakeup of the squad in March seems to have had the desired effect. Nagelsmann inherited a team low in confidence when he took over from the fired Hansi Flick last September. Germany had lost its previous three games and failed to win any of its previous five. Nagelsmann had a rocky start with a friendly win over the United States followed by a draw against Mexico, then defeats to Turkey and Austria. It prompted his radical shakeup in which he dropped established players like Leon Goretzka, Mats Hummels, Niklas Süle, Emre Can and Julian Brandt, called up six new faces, and coaxed Real Madrid star Toni Kroos back out of international retirement to lead the squad. Germany went on to beat France and the Netherlands in its next two games, a timely boost in confidence just months before it was to host Euro 2024. Nagelsmann kept faith with those players for his tournament squad. Now that the sense of gloom surrounding the team is gone, Germany is targeting the title. But Germany has disappointed at every major tournament it has played in since reaching the 2016 semifinals.

SCOTLAND

Scotland hasn’t won a game at the tournament since Euro ’96, but the team will still be roared on by an expected 200,000 traveling fans known as the Tartan Army. Scotland coach Steve Clarke and his players and not traveling for the party, though. Scotland was eliminated in the group stage on all three of its previous European Championship appearances. Buildup has been dominated by injuries to key players, including Bologna’s Lewis Ferguson, and right backs Aaron Hickey and Nathan Patterson. Scotland snapped a seven-game winless skid Monday when it beat Gibraltar 2-0 in a friendly. There’s another tournament warmup Friday against Finland.

HUNGARY