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The first round of games is completed at Euro 2024 and in truth it has not taught us much that we might not have reasonably suspected before the tournament began. Hosts Germany look to be feeling the benefit of truly elite coaching while so many of their likely rivals for the crown -- France, England and Portugal in particular -- are getting results without playing like teams who constitute the sum of their parts. Everyone's big name side expected to wobble, Belgium, have done exactly that while the minnows have, Scotland aside, proved that there is a real depth of quality in the European game.

Who then is looking most likely to lift the Henri Delauney trophy in Berlin next month? Here are our first power rankings of the tournament:

RankTeamEuro 2024 prospects



The state of Kylian Mbappe's nose may be the other great looming crisis for the French nation but the Golazo 100 winner will be back before too long, masked up in preparation for a thousand plus hype compilations. In customary Didier Deschamps fashion, Les Bleus hardly delivered to their collective talent in beating Austria. We already know, however, that high grade defensive and offensive talent with N'Golo Kante in between is a tournament-winning formula.



The all passes from all angles all at once approach of Julian Nagelsmann will not run into a more favorable opponent than Scotland, but even considering that, Germany began their campaign in outstandingly authoritative fashion. Already this seems to be a joyous scrap between Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala to be the face of the tournament.



You wouldn't rush to rewatch their 1-0 win over Serbia, but if you did you would see an England defense utterly at ease against what was quite an array of dangerous attacking talent. Gareth Southgate's side could and should have pushed on for a second to ease the English blood pressure back home, but if they keep holding opponents to 0.2 xG then Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka should be able to deliver enough magic at the other end.



Any side that can crush Croatia is evidently a serious contender, but a word of caution is required after a match where Mateo Kovacic was able to saunter up the gut of the Spanish defense, one of a string of simple chances that the best international sides can't get away with giving up in the latter stages of tournaments. Lamine Yamal and Alvaro Morata can only do so much.



Though an indifferent display from Memphis Depay might be a cause for concern, the Netherlands looked broadly impressive against good opposition. For once a Ronald Koeman side is capable of moving the ball as elegantly around the opposition half as their own while the introductions of Wout Weghorst and Jeremie Frimpong spoke to impressive depth in the Dutch ranks.



It's the same story for Portugal at major tournaments. They have the talent to overcome any opponent but it is too often deployed in a desynchronised way; against the Czech Republic there was plenty of good work getting the ball to the final third but nowhere near enough to craft shots until they fell behind.



A fulsome fightback got Italy the points against Albania and means they are well placed to reach the knockout rounds even if the harder games ahead of them don't go their way. They will also need to ensure that either Federico Dimarco covers the space behind him on the left or someone else does. The big names turned up -- particularly Nicolo Barella, Alessandro Bastoni and Federico Chiesa -- but they may have too big a weight on their shoulders if the fringe starters don't turn up.



Murat Yakin was one of the big winners of the first round of games, surprise inclusions in the form of Kwadwo Duah and Michel Aebischer playing big roles in the win over Hungary before Breel Embolo, perhaps spurred by his absence from the XI, delivered a goal off the bench. Given the form of their opponents beforehand, this Swiss side looks like one who could bloody a nose or two.



Replay their 1-0 defeat to Slovakia 10 times and Belgium would win at least six or seven times. More often than not Romelu Lukaku will take at least one of the legitimate chances that fall his way and the marginal refereeing calls might not swing against the Red Devils. Still, they are behind the Group E eight ball with two potentially tricky games yet to come. It does not seem unimaginable now that disaster could strike Belgium again.



There will be work to do to make the last 16, but Ralf Rangnick's side should be optimistic that repeat performances take them to the four point mark, perhaps better, in the games ahead of them. Nicolas Seiwald and Marcel Sabitzer, in particular, look ready to make a big mark on the tournament.



There will be cause for great disappointment in the Danish camp at how they failed to see out their opener against Slovenia, the match rather slipping out of their firm grasp after Rasmus Hojlund went close early in the second half. They may well slip down these rankings if their game against England goes against them but they should still have enough to reach the knockout stages.



The knowledge that Croatia could always escape Group B and grind their way to a few penalty shootouts wins keeps them high in our power rankings, perhaps higher than they ought to be even as they went down swinging in defeat to Spain. Unsurprisingly after that result it looks like there is a lot of work for Zlatko Dalic to do on his defense.



What an awful lot of fun their 3-1 win over Georgia was. A side that seemed to freeze under the lights three years ago felt liberated this time around, given an almighty boost of energy by the vibrant Arda Guler. With talent in their ranks and the near certainty that they will be well supported everywhere they go in Germany, they might just be dark horses this time round. No, really.



The easy cliche to fall back on after a surprise win like that over Belgium is that it was a triumph of the collective over individuals. There may be some truth in that but what shone through in Frankfurt is that Slovakia have really good players where they need them. Stanislav Lobotka barely played a pass wrong, Denis Vavro was excellent in marshalling the defense and Martin Dubravka was as fearless with the ball at his feet as he was facing shots. Too many, this column included, may have written off Slovakia too soon.



Serbia arrived at the Euros with a reputation for front-footed, high scoring football that they only partially lived up to in their opener. They certainly seized the initiative in the second half. but their grip on it was rather fragile, the collective creativity of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and substitute Dusan Tadic rather underwhelming, Aleksandar Mitrovic something of a non-entity.



It really was not anyone's idea of a 3-0 game but when chances came Romania's way they met them with full force and got their rewards. Their wondrous finishing may not sustain over a tournament but if they press with the same energy they did first time out they will create easier chances for themselves.



There is more to the Slovenia national team than gossip column regular Benjamin Sesko, but boy was he an awful lot of fun in the Euro 2024 opener. He shows a prodigious talent for absolutely leathering the ball whenever an opportunity comes his way, next time you'd have to fancy him to hit the back of the net rather than the post. Don't count them out of beating Serbia and all but booking their place in the last 16.


Czech Republic

A stout display against Portugal nearly earned the Czechs a valuable point -- for seven minutes you wondered if it might be even more -- but it has not offered any great indication as to what they can do with two more favorable opponents on the horizon. Do Patrik Schick and company have the firepower to down at least one of Turkey and Georgia?



Robert Lewandowski's purposeful warmup on the touchline in the opener renewed hope that the Barcelona striker will be available for the big one, a clash with Austria where both sides could really do with a win if they are to escape Group D. Even without their talisman they proved to be a team who could ask questions of very good defenders.



It doesn't augur well for Hungary's hopes of a deep run at the tournament when Marco Rossi is bluntly warning that their next opponent Germany "is better than us". True that may be, but when he follows it up with the commitment that his side "can see what they can do" it suggests a team who have had the stuffing knocked out of them in their opener against Switzerland.



Plenty of Ukraine players will feel they have done their reputation no harm even in a heavy defeat: Artem Dobvyk asked questions of a strong Romanian backline and Georghiy Sudakov looked fearless in the final third. The problem was that Andriy Lunin had one of the worst games of his career. Improving their goal difference will be necessary but there is no reason why this team cannot pick up four or six points against Slovakia and Belgium.



It was always going to be a big ask of the Albania defense to hold firm for 89 minutes, 33 seconds after Nedim Bajrami had netted the fastest goal in European Championships history to give them a shock lead. However they never really looked like holding Italy at bay for long at all, the fear will have to be that Spain and even Croatia could do more damage to them in the games ahead.



An impressive defeat proved that Georgia are more than just the Khvicha Kvaratskhelia team with the likes of Georges Mikautadze and Giorgi Chakvetadze hinting at bright futures for them in the years to come. Was there a touch of naivety from the tournament debutants, typified in their goalkeeper coming up for a corner in the last minute? Only time will tell.



When three points is likely to be the mark for a third place side to escape the group it would be extremely premature to suggest Scotland are out. The problem for Steve Clarke's side, however, is that the shellacking they took from the Germans means they either need four points or a spectacular goal difference swing in their win. Both scenarios are looking pretty hard ahead of their meeting with Switzerland.

Wednesday's schedule

All times Eastern

All games are available on Fubo (try for free).

  • Croatia vs. Albania, 9 a.m. on FS1 (Preview)
  • Germany vs. Hungary, 12 p.m. on FS1 (Preview)
  • Scotland vs. Switzerland, 3 p.m. on Fox (Preview)

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