Friday, July 12, 2024

Who are the potential EURO 24 dark horses that could spring a famous upset this summer?

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With all of this summer’s attention focused on EURO 24, Europe’s elite will be looking to write their own piece of history over in Germany.

As England’s golden generation look to get their hands on a first piece of international silverware since their World Cup success way back in 1966, the likes of France will also have plenty of expectations on their shoulders.

However, while the Three Lions and Les Bleus might find themselves pencilled in as a the pre-tournament favourites this summer, there are plenty of European dark horses that are looking to mount their own respective charges.

With action getting underway on Friday night when Germany welcome Scotland to Munich, we have taken a look at three of the potential EURO 24 dark horses.

Portugal

While Portugal might have been left frustrated out in Qatar 18 months ago as they eventually crashed out at the Round of 16 stage, the Navigators do appear to have turned a real corner since appointing Roberto Martinez in January 2023.

Storming their way to this summer’s European Championships and making a major qualifying statement last year, Portugal won all of their 10 Group J appearances by an aggregate score of 36-2.

Gaining a reputation for their clinical performances in the final third, the former Belgium boss has seen his squad receive plenty of plaudits from across the continent.

With five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo continuing to break a string of records since completing his historic Middle Eastern switch last year, Portugal will certainly have their sights set on mounting a genuine charge this summer.

Making real history back in 2016 as they got their hands on a maiden European crown, Portugal should be confident of finishing top of the pile in Group F as they battle it out against the trio of Turkey, Georgia and the Czech Republic.

Portugal to win EURO 24 @ 7/1 with Dachbet

Belgium

Suffering a major World Cup nightmare out in the Middle East 18 months ago as they remarkably failed to find a route out of the group stage, Belgium have plenty of pressure on their shoulders this summer.

However, making the decision to appoint Domenico Tedesco following their World Cup exit in the winter of 2022, the Red Devils are certainly enjoying life under the former RB Leipzig boss.

Opening their EURO 24 adventure in the midst of a 15-match unbeaten run across all competitions, Belgium’s golden generation know that this is their last chance to get their hands on a maiden piece of international silverware.

Tipped as a standout contender to finish top of the pile in Group E this summer ahead of the trio of Ukraine, Romania and Slovakia, Tedesco’s side also boast a string of attacking superstars.

With both Manchester City ace Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku expected to play a leading role over in Germany, Belgium should be confident of putting together a genuine charge.

Belgium to win EURO 24 @ 20/1 Luckster

Croatia

While Croatia might only have a population of just under four million, the Blazers have only continued to cement their status as one Europe’s elite.

Enjoying what was another World Cup fairytale out in Qatar during the winter of 2022, Zlatko Dalic’s camp secured an iconic bronze medal finish and they have proven that they can cause any side issues.

Although Croatia might have been disappointed last year as they had to settle for a second-place finish behind Turkey during their qualifying adventure, Dalic’s men are in the midst of another extended flurry.

Signing off their pre-EURO 24 preparations with a stellar 2-1 victory away at Portugal last week, they have now won all of their previous six straight appearances across all competitions and the mood in their camp will be at a real high.

While Croatia might share Group B alongside European giants Spain and defending champions Italy, the Blazers have proven that they should not be underestimated under any circumstances.

Croatia to win EURO 24 @ 40/1 Olympusbet

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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