EURO2024 Group D Preview: What can fans expect?

Group B has been billed as the ‘Group of Death’ at EURO2024 for good reason, but don’t sleep on Group D. Poland and Austria are both still relative newcomers to the European Championships having made their debut less than two decades ago, and they’ll be pitted against strong French and Dutch sides for a place in the knockout stages.

Overcoming les Bleus and the Oraanje was never going to be an easy task – but late injury news may just have changed the landscape of Group D, instilling hope in some and striking fear into others.

So, when the match action finally starts for these four teams on 16th/17th June, what can we expect?


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Ralf Rangnick didn’t exactly set the world alight during his managerial stint in Manchester. A 37.93% win rate with the Red Devils resulted in the club’s worst-ever points tally in the Premier League – a sixth-placed finish with just 58 points to their name.

With the Burschen however, Rangnick appears rejuvenated. They finished just a point behind Belgium in their qualification group, and are unbeaten since their loss to the Belgian Red Devils in September, having seen off the likes of Germany in December and comprehensively stunned Türkiye by a 6-1 margin in March.

If momentum won tournaments, then perhaps the EURO2024 trophy would be heading to Austria.

That’s an unlikely outcome this summer though, but Austria could take advantage of weakened squads elsewhere after a late flurry of injuries to record their best-ever finish at the European Championships. Currently, that’s an extra-time round-of-16 defeat to Italy at EURO2020.


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Les Bleus have enjoyed life since they finished as runners-up on home soil eight years ago. That successful tournament, in which they suffered defeat to Portugal in Paris, was swiftly followed by a FIFA World Cup that allowed them to add a second star to those famous blue maillots. Since then, a UEFA Nations League final win and another appearance in the FIFA World Cup final have presented themselves for the French.

But EURO2020 was a disappointment, with a penalty shootout against Switzerland in the round-of-16 bringing an early end to any French involvement in the tournament. They’re here to make amends this time around.

There’s certainly a mix of experience in Didier Deschamps’ final squad. The likes of Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann – and of course Kylian Mbappé – remain with the team, joined by younger talents that will strive to confirm themselves as the future of les Bleus: Bradley Barcola and Warren Zaïre-Emery to name just a few.

La pression est forte for the French this summer. Expectation sits firmly on their shoulders, with Mbappé in particular keen to take the stage by storm again following the confirmation of his move to Real Madrid that brought to an end a seven-year saga.

It’s not make or break though – they’ll come again, guided by those aforementioned talents, who will be more mature and have more experience under their belts next time around.


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The opportunity to return to Germany will be a welcome one for the Dutch this summer, with the country having hosted the 1988 tournament in which they so famously claimed victory. Ruud Gullet, Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten’s playing days are long gone – but there is one key figure who still remains to this day: Ronald Koeman.

He’s swapped that infamous orange home shirt for a standard suit now, parading the technical area as he oversees this new generation of Dutch talent. There’s work to be done and there’s a point to prove for the Clockwork Orange in Germany though, as they’ve failed to make it past the round-of-16 since their quarterfinal appearance in 2008.

But 27-year-old Barcelona midfielder Frankie de Jong has now been named as a confirmed omission from the squad, with his recovery from an ankle injury not progressing as expected – and that’ll leave a void in the centre of the pitch. With Atalanta’s Teun Koopmeiners also now confirmed as another EURO2024 absentee after picking up an injury in the warm-up against Iceland on Monday, there’s likely to be a lot of late nights for Koeman as he works out just how to ensure strength in the midfield.

De Jong’s replacement has already been confirmed, with Chelsea loanee Ian Maatsen heading home from his Greek holiday early to join the camp. Usually deployed at left-back but capable in the midfield, the 22-year-old is expected to add depth to a rapidly diminishing list of available options.

But even without the aforementioned injuries, the Oraanje didn’t exactly set the world alight during their qualifying campaign. After a chicken curry served the day before the match proved to leave several players suffering from food poisoning, Koeman was forced to start a rotated side against France on the opening matchday – and a 4-0 loss in Paris left the Dutch with work to do.

It wasn’t until the penultimate match of their qualifying campaign that the Oraanje finally secured their qualification, with a 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland in Dublin sealing the deal.

Albeit for injury-enforced reasons, it’s rather difficult to predict just how far this Dutch team can go this summer… but that could prove to work to their advantage.


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Michał Probierz has been left scratching his head following Poland’s last-gasp 2-1 win over Türkiye on Monday night. With Arkadiusz Milik having already returned to his club to undergo meniscus surgery, the Eagles boss would barely believe his luck when Karol Swiderski was a forced withdrawal after twelve minutes in Warsaw, following a sprained ankle sustained during his goal celebration.

“Only after the tests will we know what the situation looks like,” Probierz admitted post-match, by which point another Polish forward had also limped off the pitch. This time around, it was Robert Lewandowski – the country’s most prolific goalscorer.

“There should be no problem,” stressed the 51-year-old manager, who described the Barcelona forward’s thigh strain as “a slight injury.”

Even before this late flurry of injuries, their qualification campaign wasn’t remarkable and Poland needed to progress through the play-off system to secure their berth in Germany. A comprehensive rout of Estonia was followed by a knife-edge penalty shootout against the Welsh in Cardiff, with Dan James’ decisive miss confirming Poland’s progression.

It is perhaps a relief for this Polish side that their first outing in Hamburg comes against a Dutch side also stricken by injury, particularly in the midfield. By then, Probierz will hope to know the extent of the injuries that his forwards have suffered, but it may still be a little optimistic to expect the result to fall in their favour.

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