How are Euro 2024 groups decided and how many teams qualify for the knockouts?

Scotland are aiming to secure their place in the knockout stages for the first time (Picture: Getty)

With matchday two complete, Euro 2024 gears up for the final round of group-stage fixtures as each nation looks to rubber-stamp their place in the knockout stages.

Three countries – Germany, Spain and Portugal – have already secured their passage to the round of 16 having won their opening two games but plenty is still up in the air.

Scotland will be looking to beat Hungary on Sunday night to reach the Euros knockout stage for the first time in the nation’s history, while England take on Slovenia as they look to top Group C.

With plenty still to be decided, here’s everything you need to know.

How many teams qualify for the Euro 2024 knockouts?

The aptly named round of 16 means that 16 of the 24 teams in the Euros will reach the knockout stages.

The nations who finish first and second in their group automatically qualify for the knockout rounds, while four are also available for the best-ranked third-place teams in each of the six groups.

Euro 2024 Matchday three fixtures

June 23

Switzerland vs Germany (Frankfurt, 8pm)

Scotland vs Hungary (Stuttgart, 8pm)

June 24

Croatia vs Italy (Leipzig, 8pm)

Albania vs Spain (Dusseldorf, 8pm)

June 25

Netherlands vs Austria (Berlin, 5pm)

France vs Poland (Dortmund, 5pm)

England vs Slovenia (Cologne, 8pm)

Denmark vs Serbia (Munich, 8pm)

June 26

Slovakia vs Romania (Frankfurt, 5pm)

Ukraine vs Belgium (Stuttgart, 5pm)

Czechia vs Turkey (Hamburg, 8pm)

Georgia vs Portugal (Gelsenkirchen, 8pm)

How are Euro 2024 groups decided – by head-to-head or on goal difference?

Should two teams finish on the same number of points in the same group, there are several ways to split them.

The two teams will first be ranked based on their head-to-head record when they faced off against each other in the group stage.

If that fixture ended in a draw, it would then go to goal difference, then goals scored, then disciplinary record, and then their qualifying ranking in order to decide who comes out on top.

How are the four best third-placed teams decided at Euro 2024?

Once all the group-stage games have been finished, the four best third-placed teams qualify for the knockout rounds.

The four teams are decided by a similar method to the above, albeit a head-to-head record is not used as each nation has been playing in separate groups.

How the four best third-placed teams are decided

1. Highest number of points

2. Superior goal difference

3. Highest number of goals scored

4. Highest number of wins

5. Best disciplinary record

6. European Qualifiers rankings.

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