Any early shocks? Sutton's Euro 2024 predictions - opening group games

Sutton's Euro 2024 predictions

BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton is predicting the outcome of all 51 games at Euro 2024.

He starts with the first matches in each group, including the tournament opener between hosts Germany and Scotland, holders Italy against Albania and England versus Serbia.

Do you agree with his forecasts? You can make your own predictions below.

Sutton is also picking the order he thinks each of the six groups will finish in.

He is backing France to win the European Championship, believes England will lose to them in the semi-finals, and thinks Scotland will not get out of their group.


Sutton's pre-tournament picks: Germany (winners) and Hungary (runners-up). Switzerland to finish third, and Scotland fourth.

Germany v Scotland

Germany 5-1 Scotland

Match report

I am on this game for BBC Radio 5 Live and I am not sure what to expect from Germany.

There is still an expectation about them at this tournament because they are the hosts, but I don't sense there is any arrogance or belief from their fans that they are going to win these Euros.

A draw would be a disaster for them, and that is not being disrespectful to Scotland. What I mean is that Germany are desperate to get off to a flying start, like they did when they were the home side at the 2006 World Cup, to get the country behind them.

I have a feeling Germany will get over the line here, but I think it might be a struggle. People will look at Scotland's recent run of one win in nine games, but Steve Clarke took on some difficult friendlies for a reason, to test his team. I actually like that mindset, even if they ended up losing to France, the Netherlands and England.

In qualifying they were brilliant, but injuries mean they have got a few decisions to make. Up front, for example, do they go with Che Adams or Lawrence Shankland? Adams is a better all-round centre-forward but Shankland is a lethal finisher.

Scotland have some issues at the back too. They are strong in midfield, where their players have all had good seasons, but they will have to be brave on the ball and take chances when they come around.

If they do that, you never know, but it is going to be very difficult for them to get anything out of this game or get out of this group.

Sutton's prediction: 2-0

Hungary v Switzerland

Hungary 1-3 Switzerland

Match report

There are a lot of teams who are much of a muchness in this tournament, and all of them have the potential to make decent progress if things fall for them.

Switzerland maybe are not the team they were a few years back, and they flattered to deceive at times in qualifying, but they are still battle-hardened and streetwise.

Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri know how to get out of a group, because they have done it on a regular basis, but maybe this team are on a bit of a decline?

Hungary are definitely worth keeping an eye on, though. They have taken a big scalp or two in recent years, including beating England at Wembley, and Marco Rossi has built a formidable team.

They are defensively strong and do not give many chances away but we know what a huge talent Dominik Szoboszlai is, and along with Barnabas Varga, he means they carry a threat too.

Sutton's prediction: 1-1


Sutton's pre-tournament picks: Spain (winners) and Italy (runners-up). Albania to finish third, and Croatia fourth.

Spain v Croatia

Spain 3-0 Croatia

Match report

Everyone is expecting Albania to finish bottom of this group but could this be a tournament too far for an ageing Croatia team? They have stacks of quality in midfield, but will they have the legs they need too?

Spain's manager Luis de la Fuente has won the Euros in the Under-18 and Under-19 age groups but this is obviously a much bigger ask.

I see Spain as being dangerous, particularly because if things go to plan for them, they will be in the opposite side of the draw to France and England come the knockout phase. They should make a winning start here.

Sutton's prediction: 2-1

Italy v Albania

Italy 2-1 Albania

Match report

Italy head coach Luciano Spalletti has banned his players from using Playstations during the Euros, so he is already my manager of the tournament, regardless of how they get on.

They surprised us by winning the last Euros, but it would be pretty remarkable if they ended up going back-to-back. They will be well organised, of course, and they have got some talented players with a big influence from Inter Milan - there are five players from the Serie A champions in his squad.

I got some stick on the Monday Night Club for saying Albania were one of my dark horses - I've got too many of those, apparently - but you cannot take them lightly.

Albania won their qualifying group and play quite direct football. They have a habit of scoring spectacular goals and will have nothing to lose against the holders, so this will not be a stroll for Italy.

Sutton's prediction: 1-1


Sutton's pre-tournament picks: England (winners) and Denmark (runners-up). Serbia to finish third, and Slovenia fourth.

Slovenia v Denmark

Slovenia 1-1 Denmark

Match report

I am not sure Denmark will make an impact in Germany, because they were so poor at the 2022 World Cup.

I think the Danes have made a big error not picking Matt O'Riley, the Celtic midfielder. People can view Scottish football how they like but he had a phenomenal season in the Premiership and he would have been a better bet than some of the players who were included in the middle of the park.

O'Riley is very creative. I get why Christian Eriksen is so highly thought of but there is always a time to move on. Eriksen may be at Manchester United, but I would have gone for O'Riley this time.

All eyes will be on Slovenia striker Benjamin Sesko after his form for RB Leipzig, but I reckon both teams will draw a blank here.

Sutton's prediction: 0-0

Serbia v England

Serbia 0-1 England

Match report

Serbia have got some talented attackers, but I am expecting England to have too much firepower for them, and to start their Euros with a clean sheet.

I like what England boss Gareth Southgate has done this time. He has done things a little bit differently to previous tournaments and picked his squad based on form.

I'm a fan of that approach, but now he has to play the players he has picked. I want him to find a place in the team for Phil Foden and Cole Palmer, so let's hope we see that here.

I've predicted England will get to the semi-finals, where they will lose to France. I hope I am wrong, but that's the way the draw pans out if both teams win their group and keep progressing, and that's the way I see it ending up.

Sutton's prediction: 0-2


Sutton's pre-tournament picks: France (winners) and Netherlands (runners-up). Austria to finish third, and Poland fourth.

Poland v Netherlands

Poland 1-2 Netherlands

Match report

The Netherlands are another team who could make a real splash at this tournament.

They are missing Frenkie de Jong, who misses the tournament through injury and who usually knits the team together well, but they should still go far without him.

Poland are an ageing team who only just made it to Germany. They will be without Robert Lewandowski to lead their attack in this game but I don't think it would make much difference even if he was fit.

Sutton's prediction: 1-2

Austria v France

Austria 0-1 France

Match Report

I pick France to win every tournament - it's boring, I know, but they are usually favourites for a reason.

I stayed in the same hotel as France boss Didier Deschamps when we joined Chelsea at the same time in 1999 and I taught him everything he knows. He's gone on to win the World Cup as a manager and I think you have to put a lot of that down to me.

A few people fancy Austria to have a good run at these Euros under Ralf Rangnick, who has done a brilliant job after being laughed out of Old Trafford.

They will have to get out of this group first, and even if they play well against France, we know Deschamps' side always find a way to win - well, most of the time, anyway. They are talented and they just do enough, which is a marvellous habit to have.

Sutton's prediction: 1-2


Sutton's pre-tournament picks: Belgium (winners) and Slovakia (runners-up). Ukraine to finish third, and Romania fourth.

Romania v Ukraine

Romania 3-0 Ukraine

Match Report

Romania had a good qualifying campaign and topped their group without losing, and only conceded five goals in 10 games. They are probably going to keep things tight here too.

Along with Slovakia, both of these teams are probably eyeing second place in the group behind Belgium.

It is likely to be a very cagey game all round and it has got a draw written all over it.

Sutton's prediction: 1-1

Belgium v Slovakia

Belgium 0-1 Slovakia

Match Report

I will be at this game for Radio 5 Live and I don't expect Belgium to have things all their own way.

They are another team with some excellent players who don't fully convince me.

For starters, I really don't understand Belgium boss Domenico Tedesco's decision to leave goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois out of his squad, and that already looks like a huge error.

In attack, Romelu Lukaku is a big-game player and we know how much of a threat Jeremy Doku is down the left, but my main worry is about them is at the back where they still rely on Jan Vertonghen.

Slovakia's only defeats in qualifying both came against Portugal, and by the odd goal on both occasions, so they will not roll over. If they can keep things close, they might even get something.

Sutton's prediction: 2-1


Sutton's pre-tournament picks: Portugal (winners) and Czech Republic (runners-up). Turkey to finish third, and Georgia fourth.

Turkey v Georgia

Turkey 3-1 Georgia

Match report

Turkey seem to be a lot of people's pick as a surprise package but it was the same at Euro 2020, and they lost all their group games.

They should do a bit better this time. Hakan Calhanoglu brings experience and teenager Arda Guler was impressive when he broke into the Real Madrid team.

Georgia are the lowest-ranked team at the Euros, and I don't see them getting out of the group. I am a romantic at heart though, and this is their first game at a major finals so I am backing them to get a draw.

Sutton's prediction: 1-1

Portugal v Georgia

Portugal 2-1 Czech Republic

Match report

Who is the real manager of Portugal - is it Roberto Martinez or Cristiano Ronaldo?

That could be their biggest problem, because they have got enough quality to go a long way at this tournament. In contrast, the Czech Republic's aim is just to get out of this group.

Everyone remembers Patrik Schick's stunning long-range goal against Scotland at the last Euros, and they could do with him bagging a couple of them here too, because Portugal should have too much for them.

Sutton's prediction: 2-0