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HomeSportsEuro 2024 is almost over, but what's at stake for Euro 2025?

Euro 2024 is almost over, but what’s at stake for Euro 2025?



Sophie Lawson and Emily Keogh

The men’s European Championship is almost over for another edition, with just Sunday’s final to go, while qualifying for the women’s Euro 2025 is reaching its climax. With two games remaining, how is the picture looking and which big names might not make it?

Already qualified: Germany, Spain, Switzerland (hosts).
Direct qualification still possible: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden.
Playoffs confirmed: (League A) Poland, Republic of Ireland; (League B) Croatia, Portugal, Scotland, Serbia, Wales; (League C) Albania.

Read about how the playoffs work here.

League A

Every team in League A gets through to the playoffs, but for many it would be a chastening experience.

In Group A1, the closest of them all, the four nations can still finish in the top two. Netherlands need to beat Italy to seal an automatic spot in the first set of matches on Friday, but are still in a long-term period of transition after former manager Sarina Weigman’s departure after finishing as runners-up at the 2019 World Cup. Having been hit by a consistent string of injuries and players retiring over the past few years, the Dutch are still trying to find a winning formula but have all-time top scorer Vivianne Miedema available again and it’s in their hands. Former European powerhouses Norway will be favourites for the second automatic spot if they beat Finland as they look to a regain their supremacy.

World Cup holders Spain have continued their dominance of the women’s game in Europe. After winning the UEFA Nations League in February and booking their place in the upcoming Olympics, they have already assured of being at Euro 2025 with two games to spare in Group A2. Denmark can qualify in second spot with a win on Friday in Belgium, who defeated England during the Nations League but have struggled to kick on and their inconsistency leaves them in a period of uncertainty. Czechia’s introduction to the top tier seems to have come too soon for a side still trying to find their feet among the bigger European teams and are likely to finish bottom.

In Group A3, one of France, England or Sweden will drop to the playoffs. All three are giants of the game and it would be a significant blow to their confidence ahead of the tournament. With several key players back for France, like Marie-Antoinette Katoto after injury, Les Bleues can book their place with a win at home to Sweden on Friday. But Sweden are starting to look like their former selves and two big performances could change everything.

On Tuesday, it’s Sweden vs. England and with both teams currently level on points it’s guaranteed to have something riding on it. Having suffered a rocky start to the 2025 qualifiers, and after a poor Nations League campaign, the Lionesses may have to win both games to finish in the top two. Automatic qualification would provide a boost, which they desperately need if they wish to retain their crown.

Meanwhile, after four-straight losses, Republic of Ireland are heading back to League B and, while it was a great feat for them to compete alongside the top 16 teams in Europe, their quick relegation shows that their growth may not have been as sustainable as first thought.

In Group A4, Germany are rebuilding themselves as one of the best in Europe again after a surprise round-of-16 exit from the World Cup last year. Having finished third in the Nations League, the Euro 2022 runners-up have already booked their place at Euro 2025 with four wins from four games and their Olympic campaign will show just how ready they are to compete. The second spot is between Iceland and Austria, but both have to play Germany so the smart money is on Iceland as they have a three-point advantage and face already-relegated Poland in the final game. — Emily Keogh

League B

A mix of teams who aren’t quite good enough to stay with Europe’s best in League A but are a clear step ahead of the continent’s stragglers in League C, League B has shown some unpredictability in this cycle.

The top three teams in each group will go into the playoffs, along with the best fourth-placed team.

In Group B1, heavyweights and Euro 2025 tournament hosts Switzerland (they qualify automatically) have shown some frailties as they look to find some footing under veteran manager Pia Sundhage, but they still top the table. Although Turkey were expected to be the team to ask the bigger questions of La Nati it was Hungary who claimed a win over the group leaders last month. Even lowly Azerbaijan put in a pair of strong showings against Turkey in June to give themselves a chance. Now all the remaining games carry a degree of intrigue, with playoffs, promotion and relegation a factor.

Scotland and Serbia sit top of Group B2 on 10 points and are assured of the playoffs. The winners of their second clash, in Glasgow next Tuesday, are set to claim promotion — though if the game is a draw overall goal difference is so tight top spot could yet be decided on fairplay points (yellow and red cards) — so both teams may hope for big wins on Friday. Largely disappointing this qualification campaign, Slovakia will be looking to sign off strongly when they face Israel, probably needing a point to take a playoff spot and avoid relegation, but most eyes will be on the top of the group.

As Portugal look for a swift return to League A, sitting on four wins from four and needing one point to secure it, Group B3 has really been about the three teams trying to better their lot. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland and Malta have all taken points from each other, but it’s Bosnia and Herzegovina who are in the more advantageous position and Malta who look likely to head back to League C. That could all change though as Northern Ireland host Bosnia in Belfast on Tuesday night.

In Group B4, Wales are already confirmed in the playoffs but will want to put in another confident performance against table-toppers Croatia (also in the playoffs) — who they comfortably beat 4-0 on the first matchday in April. Wales will likely have to win that game to have a chance of promotion, before finishing at home to Kosovo. Ukraine can claim their own place in the playoffs if they avoid defeat to Kosovo, who would be relegated. — Sophie Lawson

League C

The four group winners qualify for the playoffs, along with the three best runners-up.

Belarus are clear at the top of Group C1 and are assured of the playoffs, they will seal promotion if they avoid defeat to Georgia on Friday. Lithuania have a chance of putting in a playoff bid as they’ll play away to Cyprus before hosting second-placed Georgia. It will be the first time since April that Lithuania, ranked No. 104 in the world, will play two qualifiers in the same window, having forfeited both games against Belarus in objection to their opponents’ involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war.

Slovenia have Group C2 on a lock, through to the playoffs and promotion set to be sealed with a win away to Moldova on Friday. Second-placed North Macedonia should be able to confirm a second-placed finish (and a possible playoff berth) with at least a draw against Latvia on Friday. The game finished 4-3 in favour of the Macedonians when the pair sparred for the first time in Riga in April and the game in Skopje may provide a few fireworks.

Group C3 is much tighter as Montenegro and Greece played out a draw back in May and are tied on 10 points apiece. The two nations will square off in Podgorica on the final matchday, and although both will be going for the top spot, free-scoring Montenegro (who have netted 18 goals in four games) will be favourites on the day. It could yet be that Greece need a big win on Friday at home to Andorra (who have conceded 18 goals) to close the goal difference gap, should Tuesday’s game be a draw. Whoever finishes second seems certain to take a playoff spot.

In Group C4, Romania have an unblemished record and four clean sheets from four, and will be promoted with a draw in Kazakhstan on Friday. The greater interest lies with the other three teams who have been equally matched. Despite being the lowest-ranked nation in the group (at No. 143), Armenia are second but face tricky games against Bulgaria (in Yerevan) and Romania (in Bucharest.) After a frustrating campaign, with three losses by a single goal, Kazakhstan may be the team to watch but really need to get a result against Romania.

In the only three-team group, Group C5, Albania are already promoted as group winners and into the playoffs. Luxembourg and Estonia will square off twice — first in in southern Luxembourg and then in Tartu four days later. Although ranked a few places behind Estonia, the Red Lionesses’ surprise win over Albania on the first matchday has given the diminutive nation a shot at a playoff berth, but they may have to win both home and away. — SL



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