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Euro 2024 Dark Horses

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Euro 2024 Dark Horses

A summer of tournament football is just around the corner as domestic leagues come to their ends. Though current holders Italy and previous Finalists England may be front runners to get their hands on the trophy, there are some dark horses that could put together some long runs and shock the competition.

A History of Dark Horses in the European Championships

Denmark 1992 and 2020

The 1992 European Championships saw one of the biggest shocks in the competitions’ history. Denmark only qualified for the tournament due to the forced withdrawal of Yugoslavia and were drawn into Group 1 with Sweden, France and England.

Denmark finished second in their group with one win, one draw and one loss, their win coming in a 2 - 1 win over France. The Semi Finals saw Denmark take on the Netherlands, where after a 2 - 2 draw in extra time, Denmark prevailed on penalties and booked their spot in the Final.

Goals from John Jensen and Kim Vilfort gave Denmark a statement 2 - 0 win over Germany to secure their first and only title in the European Championships.

The most recent European Championships also saw Denmark as the dark horses of the competition. Denmark were drawn into a group with Finland, Belgium and Russia where they finished second, winning once and losing twice.

Denmark breezed past Wales 4 - 0 in the Round of 16 and beat the Czech Republic 2 - 1 in the Quarter Finals. It was only after a goal from Harry Kane in extra time that England beat Denmark 2 - 1 to prevent a first Final appearance since 1992.

Greece 2004

The group stage saw Greece drawn into the ‘group of death’ with hosts Portugal, Spain and Russia. Greece picked up one win, one draw and one loss in the group stage, leaving them on four points, two points behind Portugal and equal with Spain. However, both sides had the same goal difference and the game between the sides ended in a 1 - 1 draw, meaning Greece qualified for the knock-out stages on goals scored.

The Quarter Finals saw Greece take on the holders France, but the goal from Angelos Charisteas was enough to give Greece the 1 - 0 win and a spot in the Semi Finals. The clash with the Czech Republic saw a complete lack of goals throughout normal time, sending the game to extra time and ‘golden goal’. Traianos Dellas scored in extra time to secure a Finals appearance for Greece.

The Final saw Greece take on the hosts Portugal. Charisteas scored the all important goal to give Greece the 1 - 0 win and their first European Championship title.

Which Teams Could be Potential Dark Horses at Euro 2024?

Ahead of this summer's competition in Germany, we have taken a look at teams that we believe could be dark horses to shock the tournament and go all the way.

All odds are accurate at time of writing and are subject to change

Belgium's Euro 2024 Outright Winners Odds: 16/1

Belgium have been considered one of the best teams in Europe for years, but with key players retiring and a new manager, Belgium have come to the end of their golden generation.

The Red Devils are only 16/1 to win the Euros but a strong qualifying campaign could set them up for a strong run this summer. Belgium went unbeaten in their qualifying group where they faced off against the likes of Austria, Sweden, Azerbaijan and Estonia.

Domenico Tedesco had big boots to fill from Roberto Marinez, but if the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois are fit and Romelu Lukaku is in form, Belgium could be a real threat this summer.

Euro 2024 Outright Winners Odds

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Belgium @ 16/1

Denmark's Euro 2024 Outright Winners Odds: 40/1

Denmark are always a good shout for a dark horse run at the European Championships. Under the management of Kasper Hjulmand, Denmark finished top of their qualifying group beating out the likes of Slovenia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Northern Ireland and San Marino.

In ten games, Denmark picked up seven wins, one draw and two losses which left them on 22 points, equal with Slovenia but above based on head to head points.

However, Denmark were in good scoring form in the qualifiers, scoring 19 goals in ten games. Manchester United’s Rasmus Hojlund impressed for Denmark with seven goals, but he was joined by Jonas Wind who picked up three goals and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Joakim Mæhle and Robert Skov all on two goals.

Euro 2024 Outright Winners Odds

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Denmark @ 40/1

Turkey's Euro 2024 Outright Winners Odds: 66/1

Turkey were one of the biggest surprises throughout the qualifying campaign. Vincenzo Montella’s side were drawn into Group D with Croatia, Wales, Armenia and Latvia and in eight games, Turkey picked up five wins, two draws and one loss.

This meant that Turkey finished above recent Nations League Finalists and 2018 World Cup Finalists Croatia by one point, despite their only loss coming against Croatia.

Where Turkey lack a main goal scorer, they make up with goals from all across the pitch. Kerem Aktürkoglu and Cenk Tosun were the top scorers with two goals but the likes of Yunus Akgun, Bris Alper Yilmaz, Abdulkerim Bardakci, Arda Guler, Irfan Kahveci, Orkun Kokcu, Umut Nayir, Cengiz Under, Yusuf Yazici and Bertug Yildirim all popped up with a goal to help Turkey.

Euro 2024 Outright Winners Odds

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Turkey @ 66/1

Austria's Euro 2024 Outright Winners Odds: 80/1

Austria also impressed during the qualifiers under former Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick. In eight games during the qualifiers, Austria only lost once, that being a close 3 - 2 loss against group winners Belgium.

This will only be Austria’s fourth appearance in the European Championships. The first appearance for Austria was as hosts in 2008 where they exited at the group stage, the stage they also exited at in the 2016 Championships. The furthest Austria have made it in the competition was the last time out in 2021, where they made the Round of 16 and lost to eventual winners Italy.

Key players for Austria have been in good form this season. Marcel Sabitzer has made 35 appearances this season for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, scoring six goals and registering nine assists, he also picked up four goals for Austria in the qualifiers. Michael Greogortisch and Christoph Baumgartner were also amongst the goals, with three each in the qualifiers and 12 goals and five goals respectively for their clubs.

Euro 2024 Outright Winners Odds

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Austria @ 80/1

Hungary's Euro 2024 Outright Winners Odds: 80/1

Marco Rossi will be looking to translate a good qualifying run into a long run into the tournament this summer. In a group with Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania and Bulgaria, Hungary finished top of the group by four points.

In eight games, Hungary picked up five wins and three draws, finishing the group unbeaten having scored 16 goals and conceding seven goals.

Captain Dominik Szoboszlai has seven goals for Liverpool this season and picked up four goals for Hungary in the qualifiers. Barnabas Vargas has 19 goals this season for Ferencvaros and four goals for Hungary, making these two the ones to watch for Hungary this summer.

Euro 2024 Outright Winners Odds

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Hungary @ 80/1
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