EURO2024 Group C Preview: What can fans expect?

Years have turned into months, months have turned into weeks, and now, somehow, EURO2024 is just four days away. Germany open the tournament in Munich on Friday – but the interest in England will ramp up on Sunday, as England take to the turf for the first time following their warm-up loss to Iceland.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions are joined in Group C by Serbia, Slovenia and Denmark. With the runner-up likely to face Germany in the round-of-16, winning the group has never been more important – so will England meet expectations, or will one of the underdogs pip them to the post and claim that favourable top spot?


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Denmark’s appearance in the semifinal at EURO2020 is certainly impressive for a nation of just under six million people. It’s made even better when you throw in the fact that it was the first time they’d escaped the group stage since their 2004 quarterfinal run, and it becomes almost unfathomable to comprehend when you remember that Christian Eriksen – the talisman of the rød-hvide – suffered a cardiac arrest just before half-time in their opening match.

They went on to lose that match as a result of a Joel Pohjanpalo effort on the hour-mark, and their second outing against Belgium also ended in defeat. A 4-1 rout over Russia at Parken on their final group stage matchday was enough to seal progression to the round-of-sixteen however, and that’s when Denmark truly started to tick.

They packed their bags, left their national stadium that had hosted all three of their group stage clashes and headed for Baku. There, a 4-0 win over a limp Welsh side secured a berth in the quarterfinal and the Czech Republic were swept aside too.

But having been spurred on by the emotional rollercoaster and uncertainty that surrounded Eriksen, the Danish fairytale reached a head in the final four when a Harry Kane rebounded penalty in extra time was enough to secure England’s progression to the final. The dream was dead; gone was the chance to add another European title to the cabinet after they famously triumphed in 1992, having failed to even qualify for the tournament.

The rød-hvide have a chance for revenge this summer, and all eyes will be on their clash with the Three Lions in Frankfurt on June 20. Denmark head into that meeting as the underdogs – but that’s not exactly a status that’s served them badly in the past.

Kasper Hjulmand and his men came so close to success three years ago, and they’ve every chance of progressing from Group C this time around. With the likes of Manchester United’s Rasmus Højlund leading the line and Leicester City’s defensive duo of Jannik Vestergaard and Victor Kristiansen at the back, there are plenty of names that should be familiar for English fans this summer.


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England, oh England. Thirty years of hurt have turned into fifty-eight, and fans remain convinced that this will be the year football finally comes home again. We’ve been saying that for decades though, so perhaps take it with a pinch of salt.

Billed as the pre-tournament favourites ahead of the hosts and the reigning champions, England didn’t exactly set the world alight in either of their send-off matches. A dismal first-half performance against Bosnia and Herzegovina was salvaged by a strong second-half showing, and the less said about Friday’s loss to Iceland, the better.

But still, when England get their EURO2024 campaign underway in Gelsenkirchen on June 16, they’ll undoubtedly have the nation belting out Vindaloo, Three Lions and Sweet Caroline. It’s just how tournaments work for England: expectations build, the team reach the latter stages and then… well, it all crashes and burns.

Fans will hope this year is the year it changes. It needs to be the year it changes. Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier won’t be here by the time EURO2024 rolls around, and if that elusive trophy doesn’t come home this summer, there’s every chance that Gareth Southgate won’t be either.

England should top this group comfortably – but such is the wonder of tournament football, we’ll only know for definite when that full-time whistle blows on June 25.


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Even the most ardent of Serbian fans will admit that progression out of the group stage would be nothing short of a miracle this summer, with support for Dragon Stojković rapidly dwindling in the Balkans.

Handed one of the weakest qualifying groups in history, the Eagles still could not claim top spot. They finished second, four points behind Hungary and three points clear of Montenegro. Lithuania and Bulgaria never really stood a chance.

Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro competed as one nation – and that proved to be a fairly successful era for football in the region, as they reached the quarterfinals of EURO2000. Since then, it’s been a downwards spiral and Serbia have never qualified for the European Championships as an independent nation… until now.

There are some big names in Stojković’s squad this summer: AC Milan’s Luka Jović is accompanied by Aleksandar Mitrović, previously of Fulham but now plying his trade in Saudi Arabia for Al-Hilal. Udinese’s Lazar Samardžić is the highly-rated youth prospect, and if reports that suggest a potential move to Nottingham Forest is on the cards, he’ll be desperate to shine in his native Germany.

One thing is for sure: Serbia will certainly provide entertainment in Germany this summer. Stojković swears by his attacking philosophy, and while that inevitably leaves gaps at the back, the 59-year-old remains insistent that it’s the way forwards. It probably isn’t, and the Eagles will likely struggle to escape Group C.


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Benjamin Šeško has a point to prove this summer, and Slovenia’s clash with England on June 25 could be the perfect opportunity to become simultaneously loved and loathed by his supporters of his new club.

Linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea, the 21-year-old currently plies his trade for RB Leipzig and it would be fair to say that he carries the burden of leading the front line for his nation in Germany. There aren’t all to many standout names in this Slovenian side in fairness, with Jan Oblak and Josip Iličić the other key individuals.

There really isn’t much riding on EURO2024 for Matjaž Kek’s side. It’s their first appearance at the EUROs since 2000, a campaign in which they failed to win a game but scored a respectable four goals. The FIFA World Cup has been kinder to Slovenia in recent years: two appearances have both resulted in group stage exits, with the 2010 edition providing the Balkan nation with their only win at a major tournament – a 1-0 win over Algeria.

When the action gets underway in Stuttgart on June 16, make no mistake that this Slovenian side will be fiercely supported by two million fans back home. Their trip to Germany may be limited to a nine-day-long group stage appearance – but it truly is the taking part that counts for Slovenia this summer, and even qualifying for EURO2024 came as a huge step in the right direction.

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