On March 23, 2023, the qualifying phase for Euro 2024 begins, the final part of which will be played in Germany. Let me remind you: only two teams from the group go to the final part of the tournament, all the rest go through. In the classification, 20 teams will be determined, one more place reserved for the Germans (as hosts of the tournament), the three remaining places will be played between the teams that will have a last chance through the League of Nations.
With obvious favorites and contenders, all is clear, but which teams can put together an upset by advancing to the Old World’s main tournament?
1. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Rivals: Slovakia, Luxembourg, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Portugal
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a young soccer team (founded in 1992) that has always been far from big tournaments. The only exception was the 2014 World Cup, to which they made their way, but the Bosnians have yet to reach the Euros.
There has been no clear progress lately, but they can enter Germany with the help of a banal set of circumstances, namely:
1. Composition. Edin Dzeko, even at 37, is in perfect shape (11+5 in the season), Sead Kolasinac found a second youth at Marseille, and they were joined by some interesting youngsters like Amar Dedić, whose transfer value at 20 years old . The old man exceeds 10 million euros, which is the best result among all compatriots. Bosnia has assembled a strong squad, blended from experience and youth.
2. Composition of the group. Portugal is the favourite, without a doubt, but who will be second? The Bosnians were lucky to get into the easier group, where they can beat almost any team, and if they fail in the selection, they will only have themselves to blame.
And yet Bosnia and Herzegovina deserves special praise. In the last selection for the World Cup-22, the team drew with Ukraine and France, which already says a lot…
Rivals: Spain, Scotland, Norway, Cyprus
Georgia has never reached the final of international tournaments, and its best result was achieved in 1996, when the team took third place in the standings. Ahead of the 2022 World Cup, the Georgians came close to repeating their best result, but were only fourth, losing to Greece, Sweden and Spain.
Now Georgia will meet the Spaniards again, but the rest of the opponents have become a little easier. The Scots, Cypriots and Norwegians clearly cannot be attributed to the best teams in the world, and they are all quite comparable with the former representatives of the USSR.
The main bet of the team will be on Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, but besides him, the team has enough stars from the championships of Spain, France, Denmark, Germany. And recently, they have been joined by Saba Sazonov and Luka Gagnidze, who play far from the last role in Dynamo Moscow.
Georgia looks like a more solid and firm team than, for example, the unbalanced Norway with Erling Holland in attack.
Rivals: Czech Republic, Poland, Moldova, Faroe Islands
At first glance, it is obvious that the entire battle for the first two places will take place exclusively between the Czech Republic and Poland, who regularly play in large international tournaments, and all the rest will simply play in unnecessary matches that mean nothing from the point of view of point of view of qualification.
And this is partly true, because Moldova and the Faroe Islands look like the obvious losers of the group, which cannot be said of Albania. The Eagles have grown very decently in football in recent years, thanks also to the bright stars that have appeared. Among them: Kristjan Aslani (Inter), Elseid Hysay (Lazio), Armando Broya (Chelsea), Berat Jimsiti (Atalanta) and others. And in general, almost the entire team is represented by players from the best championships.
In the qualification for the 22 World Cup, the Albanians took third place, losing only to England and Poland, who were only two points behind. I am sure that in this campaign these opponents will once again be bogged down in a close fight, but it is far from certain that Robert Lewandowski’s team will emerge victorious from it again.