EURO 2024: Predicting the Semifinals

The four EURO 2024 semi-finalists have learned their fate, with the path now laid out all to the grand finale on July 14 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany.

The 17th edition of the European Championship has undoubtedly been nothing short of exciting, as each round of games has produced memorable and exciting moments. Hosts Germany were knocked out by Spain in a thrilling contest, while France ended Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal’s run on penalties. England clawed past Switzerland, also on penalties, and the Netherlands came from behind to defeat Turkey, rounding out the four semifinalists.

With four countries remaining in the tournament, we take a look at each of them and predict the two teams that will book their spot in the final showpiece of the tournament.

Spain vs France

After edging out hosts Germany in a dramatic quarterfinal clash, Spain will be keen on getting to the final of the competition for the first time since 2012. The last time the Spanish faced France in the knockout stages of the EUROs was in the quarterfinals in 2012. Spain won 2-0 and went on to win the tournament for the second consecutive time.

There’s no denying the fact that La Roja have been the best team so far in EURO 2024. Not only are they the only team to have won all five of their games, but the teams they’ve dispatched show how much of a force they are to be reckoned with. The Spaniards were incredibly dominant against Croatia and Italy in the group stages, while their clash against Georgia in the last 16 was a walk in the park.

France, on the other hand, have flattered to deceive at EURO 2024 so far, with much of the media’s focus falling on the fact that they haven’t scored a goal from open play in all their five games. Even more concerning, they have only scored one goal of any kind themselves, as their only victories in normal time against Austria and Belgium came from own goals.

While both sides have quality in their ranks, Luis de la Fuente’s Spanish side will go into this contest as top dogs, as they look unplayable at the moment. Their wingers, Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal, have been a thorn in the heart of the defence of every team they’ve played against. They also have an intelligent Rodri in midfield and Dani Olmo, who made sure La Roja didn’t miss Pedri against Germany.

It could, however, be a mistake for Spain to sleep on France despite the latter’s underwhelming performance. Their squad is packed with talent and experience, and they have the ability to turn the game around at any moment. The French have some lethal wingers in Kylian Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé who could come up trumps for their side at any time.

A ubiquitous N’Golo Kanté and a never-tiring Eduardo Camavinga could help shut down Spain’s attacking threat. Spain must remain vigilant and not underestimate Les Bleus if they want to secure a victory.

While France looked resolute in defense, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to deal with Spain’s ruthlessness in front of goal. La Roja‘s quality in all areas of the pitch was evident against Germany, who simply couldn’t keep the opposition at bay. Hence, we expect Spain to see off France and progress to the final.

Netherlands vs England

After a far from convincing performance in the group stages, which saw them progress as one of the best third-placed sides, the Netherlands have gone from strength to strength in the knockout phase of EURO 2024.

The Oranje recovered from a goal down to secure a nail-biter of a victory against Turkey. The win sees the Dutch through to a first major tournament semi-final in a decade—and first at the Euros since 2004—against pre-tournament favorites England.

England getting to the semifinals of EURO 2024 is a typical example of “football in its most brutal form.” The Three Lions have not really proven themselves as favorites of this tournament, as they have barely managed to scale through in all the games they’ve won in the tournament.

Gareth Southgate’s men have not really gelled together as a team, as they have had to rely on individual brilliance to get the job done. It is likely the Dutch will pose a bigger attacking threat to England than Switzerland did.

The Netherlands have a joint-best goalscorer in the tournament in Cody Gakpo, with Memphis Depay providing him support. England, however, possess more nous and quality in all areas.

The tie could go either way, but Southgate’s squad has a slight edge. They always find a way to get the job done, despite their subpar performances so far. England should join Spain in the EURO 2024 title match.

Main Image: “Puchar UEFA Euro 2012” by Piotr Drabik via Flickr

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