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Euro 2024

Euro 2024: Semi-final predictions

Continental glory is well in sight for the four teams that remain at Euro 2024.

The quarter-finals produced a mixed bag on the watchability front as Spain’s extra-time triumph over the hosts and the Netherlands’ come-from-behind win over Turkey arrived either side of two drab contests that peaked after the 120-minute mark.

France and England have joined Spain and the Netherlands in the last four following their respective penalty shootout victories.

These heavy hitters aren’t exactly vintage iterations but excitement is building regardless ahead of what will be decisive and hopefully enthralling semi-finals on Tuesday and Wednesday as the four nations bid to compete in Berlin on Sunday.

Here’s how 90min envisages the Euro 2024 semi-finals playing out.

Mikel Merino’s late extra time goal sent Spain into the last four / Image Photo Agency/GettyImages

Spain doubtlessly had the toughest test in the last eight, taking on the equally impressive Germany. Having taken a second-half lead through Dani Olmo, Luis de la Fuente sought to hold their advantage by sitting deeper and relying on the counter. The ploy failed to pay dividends as Florian Wirtz equalised and it seemed as if the hosts were carrying all the momentum heading into the extended period.

But a late box crash and finish from Mikel Merino sent the Spaniards into the last four.

Their performance against Germany was fairly scrappy, but Spain have been the most watchable and impressive side at this tournament. Purists will be praying for their success on Tuesday given that France stand in their way.

Didier Deschamps cares little for the swashbuckling talent at his disposal. Caution and functionality rules. His side are defensively sound but bereft of attacking inspiration. Kylian Mbappe has just one goal from the spot, while other forward players have been hindered by inconsistency. France’s superstars will have chances to get at Spain in transition, but can their sturdy backline hold off their opponents’ fluidity?

England were ice cold from the penalty spot against Switzerland / OZAN KOSE/GettyImages

England were ‘better’ against the Swiss, for the opening 45 minutes, at least, although Gareth Southgate’s side sunk into a familiar pattern after the hour mark and were eventually bailed out by an inspired Bukayo Saka after Breel Embolo had opened the scoring.

This is such an imperfect Three Lions team, but it can’t be denied that Southgate has cultivated a cold-blooded group that can deliver in pressure situations. A late show conjured from thin air sent them into the last eight and five perfect penalties saw them advance into the semi-finals.

They remain tactically flawed and reliant on sequences of individual magic in the final third, but England have experience and their knockout slogs have surely filled the group with belief that this may well be their year.

Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands are somewhere between the brutes of 2010 and Rinus Michels’ Total Footballers. The manager has found a formula and has shown to be adaptable in the knockout stages. The Oranje could certainly have joy out wide against this England team and, given the passers they boast in midfield, control much of the contest.

However, their backline hasn’t performed at the level many projected pre-tournament and Turkey had plenty of joy getting at the Dutch either side of taking a 1-0 lead and falling 2-1 behind.

Both sides will fancy their chances in Dortmund.

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