Spain’s most likely opponents in the last 16 of Euro 2024

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Spain head coach, Luis de la Fuente, has presided over a huge upturn in fortunes for La Roja. Spain was talked about very little by football pundits before Euro 2024 began, but they are currently on the lips of everyone.

La Roja guaranteed they would finish top of Group B with a 1-0 victory over Italy, building on their impressive 3-0 despatch of Croatia in their tournament opener. In truth, the 1-0 scoreline flattered the Italians, with Italy keeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, keeping the score respectable. The young, effervescent feel of this Spanish squad appears to have re-energised the nation, who are now starting to believe their young upstarts have the potential to go all the way this summer.

With top spot secured in Group B, La Roja are now destined to meet one of the best third-placed teams from either Group A, D, E or F. It’s easy to browse the best third-placed teams in the group stage using the bet365 Euro odds hub, as you can filter between the latest group standings at the touch of a button. To that end, let’s run through the most likely nations to finish third in Groups A, D, E and F to assess La Roja’s next opposition in Cologne on 30th June.

Hungary (Group A)

Hungary looked the most unlikely nation to qualify for the knockout stages from Group A. Back-to-back defeats against Germany and Switzerland left them staring on the precipice of an early exit. However, they showed great mental fortitude in their final game showdown with Scotland.

In this winner-takes-all contest, Hungary kept Scotland at bay with relative ease, with the Scots unable to register a shot on target until second-half stoppage time. As Scotland gambled for the win, Hungary caught them with a sucker-punch counter-attack snatching the win in the tenth minute of added time. Hungary now need Slovenia and Czechia to both win their final games to miss out on a place in the knockout stages.

The Netherlands (Group D)

The Netherlands started Euro 2024 well, defeating Poland 2-1 in their opening match. However, a draw to France and disappointing defeat against Austria has meant that the Dutch side, managed by former Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman, finished third – behind Austria and France.

Orange will be a threat for any team, even if their performances in Germany have been underwhelming so far. They have an abundance of talent that could hurt Spain, provided that is the match-up for La Roja.

Slovakia or Belgium (Group E)

Belgium’s inexplicable defeat to Slovakia has changed the dynamic of Group E altogether. With Slovakia winning 1-0 against the Belgians and Romania landing a shock 3-0 victory over Ukraine, both Belgium and Ukraine have it all to do.

Whether Slovakia can keep up their form against Romania and Ukraine remains to be seen. However, that win over Belgium should ensure they’ll be in contention for the third-place qualification spots. If Belgium only manage one win from their remaining two fixtures, they’ll also be in line to face Spain. This would be the worst possible scenario for La Roja, given that the Belgians have a very dangerous side on paper.

Czechia (Group F)

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Czechia threw away a lead to lose to Portugal in their first Group F game. However, they will hope to get a victory over Georgia and then compete for at least a point against the Turks.

In many ways, Czechia would be one of the easier opponents for Spain. They aren’t as strong as they used to be, with several of their better players entering the latter stages of their careers.

As for how deep this Spanish squad can go into the competition, it’s clear they should have too much for all of their last 16 opponents – even Belgium on their latest showing. The quarterfinals are where things could get interesting, with Germany their most likely opponents if everything goes to form. Nevertheless, with the form of Rodri and winger Nico Williams, coupled with the wild card of Lamine Yamal, anything is possible for La Roja this summer.

Gamble responsibly.

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