The chaos of the European Championships qualifiers has led to a lot of intriguing moments over the course of the last few years, but now, it’s time to separate the men from the boys as we gear up for next summer’s big tournament.
As reported by The Independent and UEFA we have already seen 19 teams book their ticket to the tournament, which will take place across the entirety of Europe, with more slots set to be confirmed either in the next few days or through the playoffs.
We’re going to run down the 19 teams that have qualified as of this writing, letting you know how they got there and what we expect from them.
Belgium were the first team to qualify from their group back on October 10th, and they are quite clearly desperate to finally win a trophy with their golden generation after all this time. We think they’ve got a real chance of winning the whole thing next summer.
The Italians need to make up for the disappointment and embarrassment of not qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and they look to be one of the dark horses for success here after winning Group J.
Russia looked great in their home World Cup last year, but now they need to prove what they’re capable of in the Euros. They won’t be contenders, but they’ll pick up a surprise result or two.
This perceived golden generation of Polish stars have failed to live up to the hype thus far, but if they can get a favourable group, they could surprise a few folks.
Ukraine are still developing as a national team but after cruising to victory in their group, we could be looking at a rising star within European football.
Counting out three-time winners of the Euros is never a good idea, and considering how handy they are moving forward, we’d say it’s pretty clear they’ll make at least the semi finals.
The world champions are going to be in the mix, because of course they are. They were fortunate to win their group but they always seem to hit that next gear when it matters the most, which is exactly what we’re tipping them to do once again this time around as our favourites to win the whole thing.
This is a team to be scared of in more ways than one, mainly because they appear to have a balanced unit for the first time in what feels like forever. They have passionate fans, they’re gritty, and they never seem to give up.
If there was ever a time for the Three Lions to stand up and be counted, it’s now. They’re riding a surge of momentum, they’ve got one of the best attacking forces in Europe, and they seem to be functioning as a united squad for the first time in a long time.
The Czechs rarely seem to do much of note these days, and while they’ve won this tournament in the past, we just can’t picture a scenario in which they get beyond the first knockout stage.
They’ve qualified for their first ever major tournament and there’s literally no reason to believe that they can’t replicate some of the success that Iceland enjoyed at Euro 2016.
The Swedes finally seem to have balanced their strong defensive front with some intriguing attacking stars, with many fans holding out hope that they can persuade Zlatan to come out of retirement for one more run next year.
The World Cup finalists didn’t blow anyone away during qualification, and we think they’ll fail to live up to the expectations they set for themselves last year.
The Austrians just don’t seem to possess enough talent to go beyond the group stages, which was also the case four years ago.
The Dutch are back with a real vengeance and we make them one of the outside bets to win the whole tournament next summer. They’ve got a great squad and a determined manager, which is always a nice pairing.
The Germans are still attempting to rehabilitate themselves after the disaster that was their World Cup campaign last year, and while we think they’ll do okay, we can’t picture them challenging.
The reigning champions probably aren’t going to be repeating their success from 2016, but they do seem to finally possess a squad with a really strong youth movement coming through to compliment superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Swiss are an impressive team when they’re playing at the top of their game, but they never seem to hit those heights on the world stage.
Denmark aren’t going to come to play games, and they’re going to frustrate a lot of teams with their ability to grind out results.