Turkey 5th), Switzerland 3rd): Ranking England’s pre-Euro 2024 final knockout ties on slipability

Lewis Oldham
England Euro 2024 ranking
England's pre-Euro 2024 final matches ranked on slipability.

England have been gift-wrapped an easy route to the Euro 2024 final, but there are some banana skins along the way and we’ve ranked their seven potential opponents on the ‘right’ side of the draw on slipability.

 

7) Slovakia
God bless, Georgia. The minnows’ shock 2-0 win over Portugal (plus Cristiano Ronaldo’s mid-match paddy) made it the perfect night for England on Wednesday as this result set the Three Lions up to face Slovakia in the round of 16 instead of the Netherlands.

Group E was the closest at Euro 2024 as Slovakia, Belgium, Romania and Ukraine remarkably finished on four points apiece.

Slovakia’s shock 1-0 win over a misfiring Belgium proved vital as they placed third in the group to reach the knockout stage at a major tournament for the third time.

The 45th-ranked team in the world’s strength is their defence, with Milan Skriniar (PSG), David Hancko (Feyenoord) and Stanislav Lobotka (Napoli) arguably their best players. Like Slovenia, they will set up to frustrate England and this will make for *another* dull affair, but Gareth Southgate’s should (especially if some much-needed pace is added to the starting XI with a couple of changes) have enough to advance. It just won’t be pretty.

 

6) Romania
This Romania side – which includes Tottenham Hotspur’s Radu Dragusin – has been one of the surprise packages at Euro 2024 and they have one of the standout victories as they deservedly beat Ukraine 3-0 in their tournament opener.

They would certainly have more of a go against England than Slovakia will on Sunday, which may suit Southgate’s side more and contribute to kicking them into gear after they plodded through the group stages while offering next to nothing in attacking areas.

 

5) Turkey
The Group F runners-up have delivered plenty of entertainment at Euro 2024, as they combined with Georgia to produce the game of the tournament so far.

While Turkey have impressed going forward, their defensive disasterclass against Portugal would give England hope that they have holes in their game that could easily be exploited in the knockout stages.

Hakan Calhanoglu and Arda Guler would be players to watch and all football nerds should be eagerly anticipating Turkey’s round of 16 tie against fellow entertainers Austria.

MORE ENGLAND COVERAGE ON F365…
👉 England starting XI v Slovenia ranked on chances of being dropped by Gareth Southgate
👉 England star told he ‘won’t play again’ at Euro 2024 as Shearer calls for three changes for Slovakia
👉 Lineker, Shearer claim there’s ‘problem within England camp’ as players question Southgate tactics

 

4) Italy
While England have steadily progressed since losing in the Euro 2020 final with the help of an influx of high-quality options in various positions, Italy have gone backwards and this is proven by their performances so far in Germany.

After avoiding a shock defeat against Albania, Italy were dominated en route to a 1-0 defeat against Spain, who have been one of the most impressive teams at Euro 2024 so far.

The Azzurri then struggled against Croatia – another side on the decline – as they needed a last-gasp equaliser from Mattia Zaccagni to steal second place, which in turn condemned Luka Modric and co. to a heartbreaking exit.

Italy still have players that can hurt England, but the Three Lions would rightly be fancied to get revenge against the Euro 2020 winners if they meet in the knockout stages.

 

3) Switzerland
The Swiss threw Scotland a bone as they were far from their best when the sides drew 1-1. But they made up for this display in their other two fixtures as they beat Hungary 3-1 and were a couple of stoppage-time minutes away from earning a win over host nation Germany.

The tournament dark horses have lived up to the hype at Euro 2024. Former Arsenal star Granit Xhaka has taken his club form with Bayer Leverkusen into this major tournament, with the blossomed midfielder having a starring role in Switzerland’s well-drilled side.

Switzerland’s eye-catching performance against Germany indicated they are Denmark-esque, but with Dan Ndoye and co. adding a bit of extra sparkle. Going off how England fared against the Danes, this does not bode well for their chances if they face Xhaka’s side in the knockout stages, but you’d hope the Three Lions have found their groove by then.

📣TO THE COMMENTS! Which team is most likely to knock England out of Euro 2024? Join the debate here

 

2) Netherlands
Of the so-called elite tournament favourites, only Spain and (to a lesser extent) Germany have made waves so far, while Switzerland, Turkey and Austria have earned plenty of plaudits.

The Netherlands have followed in England’s footsteps (and vice-versa) in underwhelming at Euro 2024 and their 3-2 defeat in a thriller against Austria last time out condemned them to a third-place finish in Group D.

On paper, the Netherlands arguably have the second-best squad in the ‘right’ side of the draw. But like England, many of their top performers are yet to turn up and this could make a potential meeting comically infuriating as both teams struggle to take the bull by the horns after being handed a favourable route to the final.

 

1) Austria
Ralf Rangnick was mocked during his time at Man Utd, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and he’s since been proven to be spot on with the signings and behind-the-scenes changes he called for during his brief time at Old Trafford.

The 65-year-old recently joined a host of managers in snubbing Bayern Munich and he’s probably right to swerve that dumpster fire of a club (poor Harry Kane). But he clearly has an immense footballing brain and his past work as sporting director perhaps makes him more suited to national team management.

Up to now, this seems to be the case as Rangnick has been a revelation as Austria’s boss, winning over 60% of his 26 games in charge.

Rangnick is not the only individual making Man Utd look stupid at Euro 2024, as former loanee and recent Champions League finalist Marcel Sabitzer is a credible contender for Player of the Tournament.

Few would have fancied Austria before this tournament but unlike most of their potential upcoming opponents, they are actually playing really good football and there will have to be an immediate improvement from England and others if Rangnick’s side are going to be denied a spot in the final.

More: England | Gareth Southgate | Euro 2024 Power Rankings | England Clamour Rankings | Euro 2024 coverage