All Eyes on Munich as Scotland Kicks Off Euro 2024 Against Germany

Euro 2024 is finally here, and the tournament kicks off in Munich on Friday at 20:00 BST with hosts Germany facing Scotland. Fans back in the UK will be closely watching both England and Scotland as they represent the home nations in this summer’s tournament.

Scotland has been placed in a challenging group with Germany, Switzerland, and Hungary. As the lowest-ranked team in the group, Scotland will face a passionate home crowd in Munich for the tournament opener. This marks Scotland’s fourth appearance in the Euros, and after a strong qualifying campaign, they hope to pull off an upset. Steve Clarke’s team lost just one of their eight qualifying matches, finishing second in Group A behind Spain and earning four points from Norway. Clarke has become the first manager to lead Scotland to consecutive European finals.

England, under Gareth Southgate, is one of the tournament favorites, having reached the final last time. Ranked fourth in the world, Southgate’s team has consistently reached at least the quarter-finals in the past three major tournaments. Key players include Jude Bellingham, who recently helped Real Madrid win the Champions League, and Harry Kane, who had a stellar season with Bayern Munich, scoring 44 goals in 45 appearances. Phil Foden, named the Premier League’s Player of the Season, also bolsters the team. England faces Serbia, Denmark, and Slovenia in their group and hopes to start strong despite a recent 1-0 defeat to Iceland in their final warm-up match.

Who are the favorites?

Opta’s supercomputer ranks England as the top favorite, followed by two-time world champions France and hosts Germany. France, led by Kylian Mbappe, ranks second in FIFA’s world rankings. Germany, with a rich history of major tournament success, has won the Euros three times but struggled in recent World Cups and Euros. Other potential challengers include Spain, Belgium, defending champions Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Croatia.

What is the atmosphere like in Germany?

Germany, hosting a major men’s football tournament for the first time since the 2006 World Cup, is buzzing with excitement. An estimated 2.7 million fans are expected to attend the 51 matches across 10 stadiums, with fan zones welcoming around 12 million supporters overall. Over 200,000 Scotland fans are expected to travel to Munich, while about 300,000 England supporters are set to follow their team throughout the tournament. Security measures have been heightened, especially for high-risk fixtures like England’s opening match against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen. Dutch fans will also make a colorful presence, continuing their tradition of a double-decker party bus parade.

Who will be the top scorer at Euro 2024?

Top contenders for the Golden Boot include:

  • Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)

  • Cody Gakpo (Netherlands)

  • Gianluca Scamacca (Italy)

  • Robert Lewandowski (Poland)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

  • Harry Kane (England)

  • Kylian Mbappe (France)

  • Rasmus Hojlund (Denmark)

  • Scott McTominay (Scotland)

  • Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia)

  • Zeki Amdouni (Switzerland)

  • Alvaro Morata (Spain)

  • Niclas Fullkrug (Germany)

How can you follow on the BBC?

The BBC will broadcast 27 matches live on BBC One or BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, and the BBC Sport website and app. Presenters Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan, Mark Chapman, and Alex Scott will lead the coverage from Berlin, with live commentary from all 10 host cities. Scotland’s group matches against Switzerland and Hungary will be live on BBC One Scotland, and all three group matches will be on BBC Radio Scotland. BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds will cover all 51 matches, with presentations from Mark Chapman, Kelly Cates, and Steve Crossman.

German legend Beckenbauer to be remembered

Germany will honor football icon Franz Beckenbauer, who passed away earlier this year, at the opening ceremony before the match against Scotland in Munich. Beckenbauer, a former defender, is celebrated for leading his country to victories in the 1972 European Championship, the 1974 World Cup as captain, and the 1990 World Cup as manager. His wife Heidi, along with Bernard Dietz and Jurgen Klinsmann, will bring the European Championship trophy onto the pitch.