Who Will Win Euro 2024? The Opta Predictions | Opta Analyst

Who will win Euro 2024? The definitive answer won’t come until 14 July, so for now it’s time to look to the Opta Supercomputer pre-tournament predictions.


With the UEFA Champions League final now behind us, fans do not have to wait long for their next football fix as attention swiftly turns to what should be a thrilling international summer, headlined by Euro 2024.

This year’s tournament, the 17th in competition history, will take place from 14 June in Germany, with 24 teams doing battle as Italy look to defend their title.

Germany are sole hosts, just the third time in seven editions that the Euros have been exclusively held in one country. All the usual continental heavyweight nations will be hoping to emerge triumphant by the time the final is held in Berlin on 14 July.

Other countries may have lesser ambitions, but there is only one debuting team – Georgia – and the 24-team format means every side involved, including the debutants, go into the event with a fighting chance of at least reaching the last 16.

But who is going to come out on top this summer? The Opta Supercomputer garnered plenty of attention during the domestic league season and, once again, has not been shy in putting its (robotic) neck on the line.

The supercomputer has simulated Euro 2024 10,000 times and confirmed its pre-tournament percentages. So, without further ado, let’s run through its Euro 2024 predictions.

Euro 2024 Predictions

  • England (19.9%) named favourites to win Euro 2024 by the Opta Supercomputer.
  • Gareth Southgate’s team have never won the Euros and suffered a heartbreaking loss to Italy in the final last time, but our model gives them the highest likelihood of going one better this year.
  • The most likely team to stop England are France (19.1%), who defeated the Three Lions in Qatar and have reached the last two World Cup finals.
  • Hosts Germany (12.4%), Spain (9.6%) and Portugal (9.2%) are also seen as strong contenders to go all the way at the Euros.
  • It might prove tougher for the Netherlands (5.1%), defending champions Italy (5.0%) and Belgium (4.7%) to mount a challenge, but the supercomputer has not entirely discounted the chances of those three sides.

Euro 2024 Favourites

England

England have often arrived at major tournaments over the last two decades as worthy contenders, but going in as favourites will be a new feeling for a squad that is packed with attacking talent.

Headlined by Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane, Real Madrid talisman Jude Bellingham – fresh from achieving Champions League glory – and Manchester City star Phil Foden, no defences at the Euros will be looking forward to facing England.

A group containing Denmark, Serbia and Slovenia is not expected to cause England a major problem in terms of progression, with a last 16 spot (95.4%) a near certainty. But finishing first might be more important in this group than it is in others, as the runner-up in Group C will have to play the Group A winner – potentially hosts Germany – in the last 16, so a fast start could prove crucial to the Three Lions’ hopes.

England are experienced campaigners at the European Championship and have played in 38 total tournament matches. Success has so far eluded them, though, and no team has played as many games as them without ever winning the event.

There is a 70.0% chance that England make it to the quarter-finals for a third time in four Euros, while their 48.2% chance of making the last four is higher than any other team.

England repeated as finalists in almost a third (31.1%) of our tournament simulations for 2024 and came out as champions 19.9% of the time.

If they are to go all the way, there’s a good chance England might have to break their penalties curse. Among teams who have taken part in at least two Euros shootouts, England have the lowest success rate of any nation, winning just one out of the five they have contested.

When you exclude penalties, though, England have lost just one of their last 18 games at the European Championship – the infamous defeat to Iceland in 2016.

With captain Kane impressing for Bayern this season and boasting an excellent scoring record at major tournaments, the other contending teams know toppling England is likely to be key to their chances of securing Euros glory.

France

The Opta Supercomputer ranks two teams well above the rest going into the Euros. As well as England, France are strongly fancied to go all the way and come in only fractionally behind the Three Lions.

A potential semi-final meeting between England and France could prove pivotal as well as dramatic, with the teams’ back-and-forth battle in the World Cup quarter-final still fresh in the memory, particularly for Kane, who missed one of his two penalties.

Kane and France star Kylian Mbappé have each scored 12 goals in 18 games over the last three major international tournaments, which is a higher total than any other European players have managed across those events.

Antoine Griezmann has also impressed at major tournaments. Since Euro 2016, he has been directly involved in more goals (18) than any other European player, racking up 11 goals and seven assists from 25 games at the World Cup and Euros.

Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps has a strong track record too. If he lifts the trophy at Euro 2024, he will become the first person to win the World Cup and European Championship as both a player and head coach.

Deschamps and France achieved that feat in 19.1% of our simulations, putting them only just behind England. They make it all the way to the final 30.4% of the time and the semis at a rate of 48.1%.

It would be a significant surprise if they do not at least reach the last eight (69.2%), even if a Matchday 2 contest against the Netherlands provides an early test.

Should they top Group D, which they did in over half (57.9%) of our simulations, a last-16 clash with the Group F runners-up is unlikely to cause much concern, unless Portugal happen to slip into a runners-up spot.

Other Euro 2024 Contenders

Germany

While England are favourites, 10 of the 16 previous UEFA European Championships have been won by either Germany, Spain, France or Italy, so any team outside of that quartet will be doing well to lift the trophy.

A member of that group, Germany, are seen again as strong contenders despite having had a difficult decade in major tournaments since winning the World Cup in 2014, and suffering six friendly losses since their poor campaign in Qatar.

Germany will be making a record-extending 14th European Championship appearance and, on home soil, they are rated as the third-most likely winners.

It’s stunning that Germany have not won a knockout game at a major international tournament since Euro 2016, nor have they kept a clean sheet since facing Slovakia in the round of 16 at that event eight years ago – it’s 12 straight games conceding a goal across the World Cup and Euros.

They were eliminated in the group stages of the last two World Cups and in the round of 16 at Euro 2020, while no sole host country has won the tournament since France did 40 years ago, so Julian Nagelsmann has his work cut out.

Germany might need some special performances from their veteran stars, with Manuel Neuer, the retiring Toni Kroos, Ilkay Gündogan and Thomas Müller among the international stalwarts named in their squad.

Müller has 10 World Cup goals to his name, but is yet to fire in 15 matches at the Euros, so he will need support from the likes of Arsenal forward Kai Havertz and Borussia Dortmund’s Niclas Füllkrug.

Germany have a 36.5% chance of reaching the semi-finals. There is a reasonable gap between them and the sides below (Spain and Portugal), with the hosts being the only team aside from England and France who won the tournament in more than 10% of our simulations, doing so 12.4% of the time.

So while the narrative around Germany suggests they may not be trending in the right direction to win it, the supercomputer is clear that they should not be written off, with friendly wins over France and the Netherlands in March giving the other teams fair warning.

Spain

Spain will battle it out with Italy, Croatia and Albania in what looks poised to be a competitive Group B. La Roja, the three-time winners, are rated as the most likely side in that pool to contend for glory by the Opta Supercomputer, even though they only win that tough group 47.3% of the time.

Our predictive model had them as champions in 9.6% of our simulations and they are more likely than not (59.1%) to make at least the quarter-finals.

Once penalty shootouts have been excluded, Spain have lost only two of their last 22 matches at the Euros, albeit those defeats came against two of their group rivals this time around – Croatia and Italy – in the 2016 edition.

Even though they are short of their previous peak, Spain are rarely beaten easily.  Their last five knockout matches at major tournaments have all gone to extra-time and four of them were decided by spot-kicks, three being eliminations, so their recent record at the World Cup and Euros would quite conceivably have been much better with a bit more luck from 12 yards.

Álvaro Morata scored six goals across Euro 2016 and Euro 2020, a total that puts him behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (8) and his Atlético Madrid teammate Griezmann (7).

After a strong season for Atlético in 2023-24 saw him score 21 times, Morata will captain Luis de la Fuente’s side in Germany.

Portugal

Given Portugal’s track record, it would be foolish to rule them out before a ball has been kicked.

In an interesting quirk, while Spain are more likely than Portugal to win the tournament, Roberto Martinez’ side have a better chance of reaching the last four – such are the conditional probabilities for each side based on their potential paths to the semis and through the finals.

Portugal did that in 33.6% of our simulations, partly because they are expected to dominate a Group F that also contains Czech Republic, Turkey and Georgia.

They made the final 18.0% of the time and won it in 9.2% of our simulations.

Golden Boot candidate Ronaldo holds the record for most games (25) and most goals (14) at the Euros, with his total of six assists also not bettered by any player since 1972. He will now look to score at a record-extending sixth Euro tournament.

Having been helped by the Al-Nassr forward’s goals over recent editions, Portugal are the only team to reach the knockout stages in each of the last seven Euros, a run stretching back to 1996.

They have a perfect record of progressing from their Euros group in all their eight previous attempts and our model has them reaching the last 16 for a ninth time this year at a huge rate of 93.6%.

Portugal qualified strongly. They were the only team to win 100% of their games and in 10 wins they scored more goals than any other team (36) while also achieving the best defensive record, with just two goals conceded.

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes comes into the tournament on a high after winning the FA Cup. During qualifying, he led all players for assists (7), expected assists (6.1), chances created (37) and chances created from open play (24).

Fernandes and France’s Mbappé were the only two players to provide 5+ goals and 5+ assists during qualifying – with Fernandes scoring six times on top of his sublime creative metrics.

Best of the Rest

The only other teams with a chance of greater than 10% to make the Euros final are the Netherlands, defending champions Italy and Belgium.

Netherlands

The Netherlands won the Euros the last time it was held exclusively in Germany back in 1988, but it’s been a tough stretch more recently – the Oranje haven’t reached the semi-finals since 2004.

This year, the quarter-finals looks like a decent initial target and they have a respectable 45.8% chance of making the last eight. While that is lower than Italy and Belgium, should the Dutch reach that last four they have a better chance of upsetting some of the leading nations as the tournament reaches its crucial stage and they reach the final in 11.4% of our simulations.

The Netherlands have scored 65 goals in 39 Euros matches, with their average of 1.67 goals per game the highest ratio of any team at the tournament.

Italy

The last two defending champions, Spain defending their 2012 title in 2016 and Portugal at Euro 2020, did not make it past the last 16 and the Opta Supercomputer thinks Italy are at risk of suffering a similar fate.

Spain are the only previous team to successfully defend the Euros (doing so in 2012), so the history books suggest a repeat Italy triumph will be a tough task.

But while a title defence looks difficult, Italy are one of the nations with the widest range of outcomes and so much will depend on the strength of opposition they face once the knockout stage takes shape, should they get that far.

The Azzurri only have a 29% chance of topping their group but still make the first knockout round 80.3% of the time. The last 16 might be a tricky hurdle to overcome, as they then make the quarter-finals in just 47.2% of our simulations.

However, should they get into the last eight, few teams will want to face them and there’s still a decent 11.4% chance Luciano Spalletti’s squad make it all the way to another final.

If they do, the omens are good. The showpiece match will be played at Berlin’s Olympiastadion and both previous major international tournament finals played there have produced an Italy victory, most recently in the 2006 World Cup final.

Belgium

Belgium have not made the last four of the Euros since finishing as runners-up back in 1980, but they are back in the final in 10.6% of our simulations.

Kevin De Bruyne returned to form and fitness for Manchester City toward the end of the Premier League season so should prove crucial for Belgium once again. No European player has delivered more assists at major international tournaments than De Bruyne’s nine since the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with five of those goals created coming at the Euros.

Romelu Lukaku, meanwhile, was the top scorer in the qualification campaign, with 14 goals from eight games, scoring every 39 minutes and converting almost half of the shots he attempted.

Euro 2024 Outsiders

A winner coming from outside the top eight nations would be a major surprise to the Opta Supercomputer. Denmark and Croatia come next, winning the tournament 2.2% and 2.0% of the time respectively, with Turkey (1.5%) and Austria (1.3%) rounding out the top half.

Of the teams ranked in the bottom 12 of the 24 teams, the supercomputer thinks a few sides have a chance to spring a surprise.

Scotland are ranked a credible 15th and, according to our model, are more likely than not to make history by progressing from the group stages of a major tournament for the first time ever, doing so 58.9% of the time. The model even gives Steve Clarke’s team almost a one-in-four shot (23.5%) of making a dream run to the quarter-finals.

But Scotland’s group also contains another threat in Switzerland. They have reached the knockout stages at each of the last five major tournaments and the only other European team to achieve that are France, who the Swiss famously eliminated at Euro 2020. Murat Yakin’s men are dark horses to reach the semi-finals at 9.7%.

Ukraine  – the most likely challengers to Belgium in Group E – should make some kind of run, as they reach the last 16 at a healthy rate of 69.4%, while they have a 26% shot to make the last eight. Czech Republic (60.7%) are another team who look good to get out of their group, despite only being ranked 19th out of 24 in terms of their chances of winning.

Romania will have to reverse their tournament history to progress. Their match win rate of just 6% at the Euros (one win in 16) is the lowest of any side to have competed in more than one tournament. They also have the lowest goals-per-game ratio (0.63) of any nation to have played more than 10 games at the finals, scoring just 10 goals in 16 matches.

They are one of five teams, along with Slovenia, Slovakia, Albania and Georgia, who have a chance of 0.5% or lower of winning the tournament.

Georgia, making their first-ever appearance at a major tournament, are seen as the least likely winners of all teams at 0.1%. However, that does not mean they cannot make a splash, as Willy Sagnol’s team in fact have a better chance than Albania of reaching the knockout stage, doing so in 37.2% of our simulations.

The last debut Euros team to progress from their group was Iceland in their famous 2016 campaign, but even collecting a point would be an achievement after Georgia were the only team to qualify having posted a negative goal difference in their group (they ultimately emerged from Path C of the playoffs, beating Luxembourg and Greece).

Georgia do have Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, a scorer of four goals in qualifying, and every one of the 24 teams did lift the Euros trophy at least once across our 10,000 simulations, so anything is possible.


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