UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying: Saturday preview
Friday, March 24, 2023
In-form Croatia kick off their campaign at home to Wales as the opening set of EURO 2024 qualifying fixtures conclude.
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UEFA.com previews the opening round of qualifying fixtures for the EURO 2024 finals in Germany.
Matchday 1 fixtures and results
Thursday 23 March
Group C: Italy 1-2 England, North Macedonia 2-1 Malta
Group H: Kazakhstan 1-2 Slovenia, Denmark 3-1 Finland, San Marino 0-2 Northern Ireland
Group J: Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 Iceland, Portugal 4-0 Liechtenstein, Slovakia 0-0 Luxembourg
Friday 24 March
Group B: France 4-0 Netherlands, Gibraltar 0-3 Greece
Group E: Czechia 3-1 Poland, Moldova 1-1 Faroe Islands
Group F: Austria 4-1 Azerbaijan, Sweden 0-3 Belgium
Group G: Bulgaria 0-1 Montenegro, Serbia 2-0 Lithuania
Saturday 25 March
Group A: Scotland 3-0 Cyprus, Spain vs Norway
Group D: Armenia vs Türkiye (18:00), Croatia vs Wales
Group I: Belarus vs Switzerland (18:00), Andorra vs Romania, Israel vs Kosovo (18:00)
All kick-off times 20:45 CET unless stated
Can Croatia keep momentum going?
In charge since 2017, Zlatko Dalić recently agreed new terms with Croatia, extending his term until the 2026 World Cup. Runners-up at the 2018 edition in Russia, and bronze medalists at the 2022 event in Qatar, the Vatreni have become perhaps the greatest overachievers in world football, their achievements in international football astonishing for a nation of barely four million.
Their new campaign starts at home against Wales (no slouches themselves when it comes to qualifying for recent final tournaments), but with Luka Modrić still looking sharp at 37, hopes will be high. "I have great passion and ambition to continue working with Croatia, and I believe that there are still many great challenges ahead," Dalić said. "In June, we will try to win the Nations League, and next summer, we want to be part of a spectacular EURO in Germany."
Did you know? Croatia have missed out on only one EURO since independence: UEFA EURO 2000 in Belgium and the Netherlands.
What else to look out for
- After missing out on a place at the World Cup, Türkiye begin their qualifying campaign with a trip to Armenia. Stefan Kuntz's team were beaten by Portugal in the play-off semi-finals last spring but having since achieved promotion from Nations League C, they are determined to challenge for top spot in Group D.
- Luis de la Fuente took over the reins following Spain's shock World Cup exit at the hands of Morocco and his first outing comes against a talented Norway side. However, the visitors' chances have been dealt a significant blow thanks to an injury to Erling Haaland. Can Ståle Solbakken's men overcome that setback?