Euro 2024 - Semi Final Preview

Published on 9 July 2024 at 13:00

france v spain:

Date: 09/07/2024

Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich

Didier Deschamps' France have stuttered into a European Championship Semi-Final, but despite an underwhelming tournament they remain strong favourites to lift the trophy in Berlin.

Les Bleus created unwanted history in the last round having not scored a goal from open play in all of their 480 minutes during Euro 2024, with shining marksman Kylian Mbappe yet to find form infront of goal.

But it is reminiscent of Portugal's uninspiring journey to lifting Euro 2016 where the Selecao did not claim they're first win in normal time until the semi-finals beating Wales 2-0.

The French despite lacking a clinical edge in the final third, have been solid in defence with the pairing of William Saliba and Dayot Upamecano, they have only conceded one goal which was a penalty in the group stage.

While they have been critisced for wasting their embarrassment of riches boasting a squad brimming of attacking talent like Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Marcus Thuram what they have demonstrated is a mental fortitude and resilience where they have been very difficult to beat.

What is a concern is France are yet to reach top gear, is it a deceptive tactic from Deschamps with his France team looking very cautious and limp against Portugal in the Quarter Final or is it a team of individual stars who aren't fluid yet?

Unbeknown to this France side, they will be going into this semi-final against Spain as underdogs which could work to their advantage because you cannot overlook a side who could reach their fourth final in the last five tournaments.



Luis De La Fuente's team of young stars have danced their way to the semi-finals of this summer's Euros, playing a free-flowing direct football style which has been a joy to watch.

Their biggest test was facing a hardened home-nation (Germany) in the Quarter-Final, with many believing their inexperienced team would be bullied by the physical nature of Julian Naglesmann side.

But, despite a scrappy affair where Spain's starlets were hunted down by the Germans through-out the game they found a way with Mikel Merino's 119th minute winner in extra time.

Unlike France they lack a superstar, but it is their unity and organisation as a collective executing their managers tactical plan to perfection which has made them such an impressive team during the tournament so far.

They have been polar-opposites to their semi-final opponents so far during Euro 2024, scoring the highest number of goals (11 goals) and while France have been lamented Spain have been championed for their positivity and have largely surprised.

A huge concern for La Roja is the loss of midfield engine Pedri who suffered a knee injury in the last round after an excellent tournament, but his likely replacement Dani Olmo has two goals and two assists in his last three games at Euro 2024 with the ability to pick up where Pedri left off.

The feeling is Spain are deserved winners of Euro 2024, if tournaments merited the best team but lifting trophies is not decided by form and their is a strong worry about France lurking in the shadows and causing an undeserved upset in this tie.


predicition: 2 - 1 spain


netherlands v england

Date: 10/07/2024

Venue: BVB Stadion, Dortmund

The Netherlands were excluded from being a contender to win Euro 2024, but have gradually built momentum under the radar through-out this tournament to reach the semi-finals.

Ronald Koeman has revived the Oranjees distinct total football model since returning to the dug-out bringing a high octane attacking identity, but this does bring defensive fragility.

While England have played a conservative style under Gareth Southgate which has lacked impetus, the Dutch have the potential with their attack-minded set-up to unsettle the Three Lions.

Their talisman through-out this tournament has been Cody Gakpo, the 25 year old has three goals in five matches at Euro 2024 and he will be key in giving the Netherlands a clinical edge upfront.

This Dutch side have belief in reaching their first tournament final since 2010, but whether they have the individual quality within their squad to compete against England is the real question.

Is it coming home?

England's display at Euro 2024 has been dire, there was one win in group B and the lowest number of goals scored. Then against Slovakia a 95th minute equaliser to bail the team out of a major upset was required before pipping a very impressive Switzerland side on penalties in the Quarter Finals.

Despite fragmented team performances and a tedious style of play England have defied the odds and reached the semi-final the hard way. The significant weakness for teams of the past was mentality, in moments of struggle players crumbled but this Gareth Southgate team have showed resilience where they've created their own luck.

It has been a group of individuals on the pitch through-out the tournament in Germany, void of attacking fluidity and team cohesion. Star individuals like Phil Foden and Harry Kane have looked a shadow of their performance at club level and Southgate has continued his insistence to trust a process that isn't working, but somehow England are still here.

The feeling is to win a tournament you don't have to be the best team, France are similarly showing this at Euro 2024 and England could break their trophyless curse playing the most uninspiring and mundane football the country has ever seen.

Their penalty shoot-out win against the Swiss, reinforced the depth in quality that England have at their disposal with gamechangers like Cole Palmer and Ivan Toney available from the bench.

This is where England can overpower the Dutch, they have options to find another gear off the bench while the Netherlands have limited options to impact from the sidelines.

England are yet to face a team who go at them, many of their opposition have sat deep with a defensive block so it will be interesting to see how Southgate adjusts his team in an attempt to nullify an exciting Netherlands team who won't take any prisoners.  

prediction - 2 - 0 england


Written By Lewis Eadie

Add comment


There are no comments yet.