LONDON – The European major football leagues stopped for this weekend, to make way for the UEFA European Championship 2024 or known as Euro Cup qualification round.
The English Premier League, Spanish LaLiga, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1 will not be played until next weekend.
Those clubs’ players will gather in their national teams’ base camps to have training before the international competition starts.
The Euro Cup 2024 qualifiers involve 55 national teams, divided into ten groups with each five or six teams, to decide the last 23 teams into the tournament next year, a total of 24 including the hosting team Germany.
The event, which will be held from 14th June to 14th July 2024, is the first time this tournament has been expanded to 24 teams.
Focused Matches: Italy Vs England
The focused matches of the two rounds of Euro Cup qualification will first to see the clash between England and Italy in Group C on Thursday night, 23rd March.
This is the replay of the European Championship 2020 final which was played in 2021, where Italy beat England in the penalty shootout, destroying the Three Lions’ dream to win their first ever tournament title.
This time, England expects a revenge on the Blue Squad, with plenty of both top class and talented young stars, such as Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish.
However, Gareth Southgate’s squad lost Marcus Rashford as one of their best scoring power, the Manchester United fiery attacker left the FA Cup match against Fulham earlier on Sunday due to leg injury.
Meanwhile, Italy started their journey to defend the trophy with a slightly ordinary but steady squad.
The two times champion is probably playing with defending based as usual, with counter attack as their scoring method.
Portugal, France Vs Netherlands
On Thursday night, Portugal will meet Liechtenstein at home, expecting an easy victory in the first game of Group J.
The winner in the 2016 tournament featuring Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo as their key players, which Ronaldo is looking to update his goals record of international competition.
France, the top favourite of champion, will have a rival against Netherlands in Group B on Friday.
The runner-up of FIFA World Cup 2022 will welcome Kylian Mbappe as their new team captain at the age of 24.
Netherlands, who featured Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo from Liverpool, are challenging Les Bleus for the first place in the group.
Spain Vs Norway
Meanwhile, Spain might have trouble facing Norway in Group A on Saturday.
The three times winner is probably stronger than the visiting team in overall, but both Norwegians Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard are having top performance in the EPL this season, by serving Manchester City and Arsenal.
The first round of the Euro Cup qualification stage will be played from 23rd to 25th March, while the second round from 26th to 28th March.
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