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Euro 2024 Matchday 8 Predictions Including Netherlands vs France

Netherlands Right-Back, Denzel Dumfries, Scored Against the USMNT

On the second matchday for each team, European giants France and The Netherlands sit on 3 points each, while Slovakia can reach the knockout stages with a win against Ukraine, our panelists offer all their predictions for matchday 8 of Euro 2024.

Slovakia vs Ukraine (Friday in Dusseldorf)

Steen Kirby: Milan Skriniar and Slovakia’s upset of Belgium already put them on 3 points and in a great position to reach the later stages of Euro 2024, Ukraine’s poor performance against against Romania, where they were incoherent in attack and defense, struggled to link up in the midfield, and Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Andriy Lunin looked like he was still battling illness was a massive disappointment. Lunin is moved to the bench in favor of Benfica’s Anatoliy Trubin, Ukraine needs points from this match to stay in the tournament, but frankly they need to win with relative heavyweights Belgium still remaining (and currently on 0 points). I’m not confident they will be able to do that, Slovakia will be able to navigate finding a goal and Ukraine didn’t inspire confidence, so a draw looks to be in the cards. Prediction: 1-1 Draw

Ben Gray: After causing one of the biggest upsets in European Championships history on Monday evening, will Slovakia win again?

With the Falcons world-ranked number 48, no one gave them a prayer of beating world-ranked number three Belgium at Waldstadion in their tournament opener, even after Ivan Schranz fired the underdogs in front with less than seven minutes on the clock. However, after Romelu Lukaku had seen not one but two goals disallowed by VAR, Francesco Calzona’s side held on for a famous win in Frankfurt.

This is just Slovakia’s fourth appearance at a major tournament, winning exactly once at each of the previous three, so victory for the Representatives would be historic, rubber stamping their spot in the round of 16.

On a day of shocks in Group E, Ukraine were smashed 3-0 by Romania at Allianz Arena on Monday afternoon, Andriy Lunin enduring an afternoon to forget, conceding two long-range strikes, before a quick-fire third ended Serhiy Rebrov’s team’s hopes of a comeback.

The Blue and Yellows reached the quarter-finals at Euro 2020, so came into this campaign with hopes of a similarly lengthy run but, having seen their goal difference take a bit of a battering, really need a win in Düsseldorf, with a clash against Belgium to come on Wednesday.

When these two last met in the UEFA Nations League in 2018, both fixtures were won by the home side, finishing 1-0 in Lviv and then 4-1 in Trnava, but will there be a winner as the pair clash at a major tournament for the first time at Merkur Spiel-Arena? Prediction 1-1 Draw

Poland vs Austria (Friday in Berlin)

Steen: Poland and Austria didn’t get run off the park against the higher ranked Netherlands and France sides, but both ended up without any points from the opening matches regardless. Robert Lewandowski returns for Poland, the Barcelona veteran superstar is surely playing his final Euros, and Poland will be hoping he can increase their ability to score, rather than bog down the attack. Marcel Sabitzer and Austria looked well drilled in the first game but couldn’t find the net, given a draw would likely do little for either team to advance to the knockouts in this strong group, this game should be played relatively openly, Ralf Ragnick’s Austria are a team that typically have been able to win games against teams of a similar level, and Poland is at or below the Austrian level on paper. Prediction: Austria 2 Poland 1

Ben: Group D’s two beaten teams from matchday one go head-to-head in Berlin, meaning this is simply must win for both.

Poland ran Netherlands close on Saturday but were ultimately beaten in Hamburg, taking the lead through Adam Buksa’s header, with the Oranje’s winner at Volksparkstadion coming with just seven minutes to play.

The Eagles have been eliminated in the group stages at six of the eight tournaments they’ve featured at since Mexico ’86, with this trend appearing set to continue. In some good news for Michał Probierz’s team, captain, record goal-scorer and talisman Robert Lewandowski should be back for this one, so can he fire Poland to a vital victory?

Austria meantime were also narrowly beaten on Monday night, with Maximilian Wöber’s unfortunate own goal the difference between Das Team and France in Düsseldorf. Ralf Rangnick’s side had only lost one of 16 fixtures beforehand, but that was always going to be Austria’s toughest fixture of the group phase, so they shouldn’t worry too much, even if it does leave them in a perilous position coming into this one. These two have only ever met at a major tournament once before, playing out a 1-1 draw at Euro 2008, with a stoppage time Austrian penalty salvaging a share of the spoils for the co-hosts back then.

Since, their only encounters have come in Euro 2020 qualifying, Krzysztof Piątek the only scorer during an away win in Vienna before a goalless draw in Warsaw, so those inside Olympiastadion shouldn’t expect to witness a goal-fest, but Austria are certainly favourites to prevail. Prediction: Austria 2 Poland 0

Netherlands vs France (Friday in Leipzig)

Steen: Ronald Koeman’s side will be hoping that they can take that next step up when they take on France in the final match of the day from Euro 2024. The French have previously shown that a gap in talent exists between these two European powerhouses, even if Kylian Mbappe sits due to a broken nose, it’s still a team of superstars for France, a team that was at times smothered by Austria and narrowly earned the 3 points, a team that is still figuring out the chemistry at times. Koeman’s Netherlands side has shown chemistry, but a patchwork midfield is suspect, and substitute striker Wout Weghorst needed to come in and save their hopes against Poland. The backline is solid, and even the youn goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen has shown promise, but I don’t see this Dutch attack threatening France enough to get an outright win, a draw would do both teams good, and that feels imminent unless France raises their level. Prediction: 1-1 Draw

Ben: One of the heavyweight clashes of the group phase takes centre stage on Friday night, so which former European Champions will continue their perfect start in Leipzig?

On Monday night, pre-tournament favourites France battled to a 1-0 victory over Austria in Düsseldorf, requiring an own goal on the cusp of the interval to leave Merkur Spiel-Arena victorious. However, all the headlines post-game were about Kylian Mbappé’s broken nose, thereby making les Bleus’ captain unlikely to feature here, but set to return later in the competition donning a protective mask.

Without their talisman, will Didier Deschamps’ side book their place in the last 16 victory victory in Saxony?

Netherlands meantime came from behind to beat Poland at Volksparkstadion on Saturday, with Cody Gakpo’s deflected shot restoring parity on the half hour mark, before Wout Weghorst came off the bench to stroke home a winner for Ronald Koeman’s team at the death. The last time Holland and France met at a Euros was in 2008, with the Dutch cruising to a 4-1 victory.

However, subsequently, les Bleus have won seven of eight encounters with the Oranje, beating them 4-0 in Paris and 2-1 in Amsterdam during qualifying in 2023, with Netherlands’ sole victory during this period coming in a Nations League clash at De Kuip six years ago. Thus, even without Mbappé, France are firm favourites for victory at Red Bull Arena. Prediction: France 2 Netherlands 1

Main Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images



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