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Germany And Switzerland Lead Group A After First Matchday

The first matchday for Group A at Euro 2024 is over, and there has already been plenty of drama. Germany thrashed Scotland by a score of 5-1, and Switzerland was clinical as they dispatched Hungary 3-1.

As with any tournament, the first matches seem to create as many questions as they answer. Is Germany elite again, or is it all a mirage? Can Hungary regain its form? Is Scotland really that bad? Does Switzerland have the talent to pull off a major upset? These are just a few of the myriad of questions that have arisen from those first two group-A matches.

Germany Is Flying High For Now

It has been ten years since Germany humiliated Brazil 7-1 in their backyard en route to winning the 2014 World Cup. Since then, the Euro 2016 is the only tournament the Germans have been competitive.

2014 was the last time they looked like the familiar Germany, though. That changed in the Euro 2024 opening match against Scotland. The Germans roared to life with the sound of the first whistle and never looked back.

Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala became the youngest goal scorers for Germany at the Euros and look to be the national team's future. Both center forwards used in the match, Kai Havertz and Niclas Fulkrug, scored and were effective in the attack. Toni Kroos was his usual self, and for a man about to retire, he looked anything but a man who was done with the game with his 99% pass accuracy.

Not enough can be said about why Julian Nagelsmann's team rose to the occasion. It is important to remember, though, that this is only the start of the tournament. There is a long way to go for the Germans, and the team was not seriously tested, so there are some question marks on how some players will hold up against stronger opponents. For now, though, Germany is a team everyone should steer clear of.

Scotland Look Rough But Have Time To Turn It Around

The only good thing about Scotland's duel with Germany is that it's over. As lopsided as the 5-1 score was, it could have been even worse. Scotland's dream is not yet dead, but after the first matchday, they look like the group's worst team.

The stat of .01 xG really sums up the performance quite well. The defense looked like Swiss cheese; Angus Gunn was not on his A-game, and there was no attack. It is over now, though, and the best thing that Scotland can do is forget that disaster and move on.

The underdogs in the tournament might not have the most going for them, but they do have some Premier League talent, and they beat the likes of Spain in qualifying. While every other team in this group can dream of potentially winning a match in a knockout round, that feels less feasible for Scotland. Getting out of the group will still be a daunting task for the Scotts, but one that is possible.

Hungary Need To Make Adjustments

In Hungary's match against Switzerland, possession was nearly even, with the Magyars having the ball for 47% of the team. The passes were quite close as well. That is where the similarities between Switzerland and Hungary end. Hungary could only muster up 32 attacks to Switzerland's 46 and two shots on goal to Switzerland's seven.

Hungary's attack felt disjointed, and the defense was unprepared for Switzerland's game plan. The Swiss did not let Hungary's physicality factor into the game, which led to Hungary making uncharacteristic mistakes.

Hungary has turned things around in recent years and even topped their group in qualifying. Their roster might not have the pedigree of some of the other squads, but they have more quality than meets the eye and a style of play that gives them a chance against anyone. This tournament was supposed to show the world how far Hungary has come in a short amount of time, and that is still possible, but coach Marco Rossi will have to go back to the drawing board.

Switzerland Are Becoming A Model Of Consistency

Switzerland is a national team that has long gone under the radar. They do not win tournaments, and they do not have many players known across the globe. They do, however, get results.

They have made it to the round of 16 on four occasions in the past five World Cups. During Euro 2020, they knocked out an incredibly talented France and powered their way to the quarterfinals.

Their game against Hungary was just another reminder that Switzerland is a team that does not get enough credit. They controlled the game and smartly picked apart Hungary's defense. The Swiss were patient and stuck to a plan they knew would work. Even if the Swiss were only up a goal for most of the match, it never felt like there was much doubt about what the outcome would be.

That is how the Swiss operate. They might not have the most exciting team in the world, but they know how to beat the teams they should and give themselves a chance against the teams that are favored against them. It is unlikely that Switzerland will win the tournament, but a bit of a run for the dark horses from the Alps is more than possible.

What Is Next For Each Team?

All four teams have some time to rest and regroup before getting back into action on Wednesday. Germany will take on Hungary, and Switzerland will take on Scotland.

Matchday two is most important for Hungary and Scotland, with both teams waiting for a result. Germany and Switzerland will more than likely secure a spot in the round of 16, but anything can happen. Regardless of what happens, this is shaping up to be an exciting group.

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