Football betting tips: Euro 2024 Group B tips, predictions, best bets and preview

As we gear up for Euro 2024, attention shifts to Group B, where football powerhouses Spain, Italy, Croatia, and the underdogs Albania will battle it out. This comprehensive preview dissects the teams’ profiles, evaluates their performances, and forecasts the group standings. Don’t miss the betting opportunities we’ve highlighted to boost your betting value for this highly anticipated event.


Euro 2024 Group B Predictions

Football Tips 26

Euro 2024 Group B Showdown: Spain and Croatia Poised for Dominance

Key Stats

Spain’s Dominance: Spain scored 25 goals in their 8 qualifying matches, showcasing their potent attack.
Croatia’s Consistency: Croatia reached the semi-finals in the 2022 World Cup, highlighting their pedigree in major tournaments.
Albania’s Defence: Albania conceded only 4 goals in their entire qualifying campaign, demonstrating their solid defensive structure.

Spain: Blend of Experience and Youth

Best European Championship Finish: Winners (1964, 2008, 2012)

Spain enters Euro 2024 with a mix of seasoned veterans and promising young talents, under the guidance of Luis de la Fuente. Since taking over from Luis Enrique, de la Fuente has led Spain to just two losses in 12 matches, showcasing a significant improvement in form. This resurgence includes a successful campaign in the 2022/23 Nations League.

However, Spain’s qualification journey wasn’t entirely smooth. Despite topping their group, a defeat to Scotland at Hampden Park exposed some vulnerabilities, particularly in their attacking prowess against stronger teams. With 25 goals in eight qualifying matches, Spain demonstrated offensive potential but must translate this against tougher opponents to advance successfully.

The squad features standout players such as Rodri, who orchestrates the midfield, and Alvaro Morata, expected to lead the attack. Young talents like Pedri and Dani Olmo bring creativity and dynamism. Spain’s defence, anchored by Aymeric Laporte and Dani Carvajal, will need to be resolute to ensure deep progression in the tournament.

Italy: Rebuilding Champions

Best European Championship Finish: Winners (1968, 2020)

Defending champions Italy have experienced considerable changes since their triumphant Euro 2020 campaign. The departure of Roberto Mancini and the retirement of key defender Giorgio Chiellini mark a new era under Luciano Spalletti. Although Italy narrowly avoided the playoffs for Euro 2024 qualification, there are concerns about their current form.

The Italian squad still boasts quality with players like Gianluigi Donnarumma, Federico Chiesa, and Nicolo Barella. However, the absence of the Chiellini-Bonucci defensive partnership could impact their solidity at the back. Italy’s inconsistent performances post-Euro 2020 and the ongoing transition under Spalletti might hinder their chances of defending their title successfully.

Despite these challenges, Italy’s pedigree in major tournaments and the tactical acumen of Spalletti cannot be underestimated. The team’s blend of youth and experience, coupled with their resilience, makes them a formidable force capable of overcoming group stage hurdles.

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Croatia: Consistent Performers

Best European Championship Finish: Quarter-finals (1996, 2008)

Croatia has consistently delivered impressive performances on the world stage, highlighted by a runners-up finish in the 2018 World Cup and a semi-final appearance in 2022. Despite the retirement of several key players, Croatia remains a strong contender in Group B, driven by the leadership of Luka Modric.

Zlatko Dalic’s squad combines experienced veterans like Modric, Ivan Perisic, and Marcelo Brozovic with emerging talents such as Josko Gvardiol. This mix provides a balanced and well-drilled team capable of competing with Europe’s elite. Croatia’s tactical discipline and ability to manage crucial games make them a team to watch in this group.

Their performance in the Nations League, where they narrowly lost to Spain in the finals, underscores their potential to upset the group dynamics. Croatia’s experience and cohesion could see them secure a top-two finish, despite facing stiff competition from Spain and Italy.

Albania: The Underdogs

Best European Championship Finish: Group stage (2016)

Albania’s presence in Euro 2024 marks only their second appearance in a major tournament, with their debut coming in Euro 2016. Under Sylvinho, Albania topped their qualifying group, surpassing teams like the Czech Republic and Poland, which showcases their ability to compete at a higher level.

The Albanian squad features a mix of seasoned players and young talents. Defenders Berat Djimsiti and Elseid Hysaj provide experience at the back, while forward Sokol Cikalleshi offers a goal threat. Kristjan Asllani, a promising midfielder, adds creativity to the team. Despite these strengths, Albania faces a daunting challenge in a group filled with established footballing nations.

Albania’s strategy will likely involve a disciplined defensive approach, aiming to capitalise on counter-attacks. Their qualification campaign demonstrated resilience, but navigating the group stage against formidable opponents like Spain, Italy, and Croatia will be a monumental task.

Predictions for the Euro 2024 Group B

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Group Winner: Spain

Spain is poised to top Group B, thanks to a blend of tactical acumen, seasoned leadership, and youthful dynamism. The team’s tactical discipline is a cornerstone of their strategy, enabling them to control games and dictate the tempo. Manager Luis de la Fuente has revitalised the squad, steering them to just two losses in 12 matches, a testament to his effective leadership.

Spain’s midfield is particularly formidable, with players like Rodri and Pedri providing both stability and creativity. Rodri, known for his defensive prowess and passing accuracy, is crucial in breaking up opposition attacks and initiating forward play. Pedri, a young talent from Barcelona, brings flair and vision, capable of unlocking defences with his incisive passes.

In attack, Spain relies on the experience of Alvaro Morata and the versatility of Dani Olmo. Morata, despite some inconsistency, remains a potent goal threat, often finding himself in the right place at the right time. Olmo’s adaptability allows him to function across various attacking roles, making him a valuable asset.

Spain’s defensive solidity cannot be overlooked either. With Aymeric Laporte marshalling the backline, they have a reliable figure who combines physicality with tactical intelligence. Laporte’s ability to read the game and intercept passes is instrumental in Spain’s defensive setup.

Furthermore, Spain’s recent triumph in the Nations League has bolstered their confidence. This victory not only provided a morale boost but also demonstrated their capability to perform in high-stakes matches. Despite their slip-up against Scotland in the qualifiers, their overall form suggests they can overcome such hurdles.

Spain’s ability to dominate possession and create numerous scoring opportunities will be pivotal. Their style of play, centred around quick, short passes and maintaining control, often leaves opponents chasing shadows. This strategy, coupled with their depth in squad, ensures they have the resources to manage the demands of the tournament and secure top spot in Group B.

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Second Place: Croatia

Croatia, with their impressive track record in major tournaments, are well-positioned to claim the second spot in Group B. Their consistency and experience make them a formidable opponent, capable of upsetting any team on their day. Croatia’s journey to the semi-finals in the last World Cup and their runners-up finish in 2018 highlight their credentials on the global stage.

The Croatian squad is anchored by seasoned veterans like Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic. Modric, even at 38, remains one of the best midfielders in the world. His vision, passing range, and ability to control the pace of the game are unmatched. Modric’s leadership on the field inspires those around him, making him indispensable to Croatia’s success.

Ivan Perisic adds another layer of experience and versatility. His ability to play both as a winger and a forward gives Croatia tactical flexibility. Perisic’s knack for scoring crucial goals and his work rate make him a key player in their attacking setup.

Defensively, Croatia is bolstered by the presence of Josko Gvardiol, one of the most promising young defenders in Europe. Gvardiol’s physical presence, combined with his composure on the ball, makes him a formidable barrier against opposing attackers. Alongside him, players like Dejan Lovren provide the necessary experience and grit.

Croatia’s tactical discipline is another strength. Manager Zlatko Dalic has moulded the team into a cohesive unit, capable of executing game plans meticulously. Their ability to absorb pressure and hit on the counter-attack makes them dangerous, especially against teams that like to dominate possession.

The team’s recent performance in the Nations League, where they narrowly lost to Spain, indicates their potential to compete with the best. Their resilience and ability to perform under pressure will be crucial in securing the points needed to advance.

Croatia’s harmonious blend of experience and emerging talent, combined with their tactical astuteness, positions them well to finish second in the group. Their proven ability to navigate the complexities of major tournaments gives them an edge over Italy and Albania.

Final Group Standings Prediction

  1. Spain
    • Spain’s combination of tactical superiority, depth of squad, and recent form under de la Fuente places them as the favourites to win Group B. Their ability to control matches and create scoring opportunities will be decisive.
  2. Croatia
    • Croatia’s consistent performances in major tournaments, coupled with their experienced squad, should see them secure the second spot. Their tactical discipline and resilience under pressure make them strong contenders.
  3. Italy
    • Despite their pedigree, Italy’s ongoing transition and the loss of key figures might hinder their progress. While they possess quality, the current upheaval could result in them finishing third.
  4. Albania
    • Albania, despite their spirited efforts, face a monumental task against more established footballing nations. Their defensive approach might earn them some points, but they are likely to finish at the bottom of the group.

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Gerard Gabasa
Gerard Gabasa is our go-to football expert for all things Spanish. His passion for the game is evident in every analysis he offers. Having played professionally with Málaga's youth team, Gerard blends firsthand experience with deep insights. While he didn't ascend to the senior ranks, this stint enriched his understanding of the game's nuances. Over the years, Gerard has crafted in-depth match analyses and player evaluations that showcase his profound knowledge. With Gerard, expect a seasoned perspective on Spanish football every time.