Reigning Champions Italy Face Decisive Euro 2024 Qualifier Against Ukraine
As the Euro 2024 qualification reaches its crucial stages, reigning champions Italy are gearing up for a pivotal qualifier against Ukraine to secure their place in the tournament. Former winners, the Netherlands, and 2016 semi-finalists Wales are also striving to book their tickets for the finals in Germany.
In the last two rounds of qualifying matches, 12 countries will secure their spots in next month’s draw in Hamburg, joining the nine nations already guaranteed a place. Notable football powerhouses like Spain, France, England, Belgium, and Portugal, along with hosts Germany, Turkey, Scotland, and Austria, have already qualified for the 24-team finals set to take place from June 14 to July 14 next year.
Italy, having won the European Championship in 2021, still need positive results to avoid missing another major tournament after failing to qualify for the last two World Cups. Coached by Luciano Spalletti, Italy faces North Macedonia on Friday and Ukraine next Monday. A win against Ukraine secures their qualification, while a draw will suffice if they beat North Macedonia first. However, a loss in the final game would see Ukraine progress, pushing Italy into the play-offs next March.
In Group B, the Netherlands, led by coach Ronald Koeman, is likely to qualify with a win against the Republic of Ireland in Amsterdam on Saturday. Wales, recovering from early setbacks, aims to secure a spot at a third consecutive Euro finals. A win in Armenia and another at home to already-qualified Turkey will ensure Wales advances.
Other nations poised to qualify include Denmark, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, and Slovakia, while Albania needs just a draw away to Moldova to secure a spot. Poland, led by Robert Lewandowski, faces challenges in Group E and may miss out on qualification.
The next week of matches will determine the final lineup for Euro 2024, shaping the landscape of the highly anticipated tournament.