Tactical Battles: How Will Top Managers Approach Euro 2024?

Tactical Battles: How Will Top Managers Approach Euro 2024?

22nd May, 2024 @ 05:56 pm

With Euro 2024 drawing closer, national team managers will be holed up in their tactical war rooms, meticulously crafting game plans to secure victory at the tournament. Given the status of European football, this tournament promises to deliver several exciting tactical battles.

Coaches dissect player strengths and examine opponent weaknesses. Based on these factors, these managers select formations that best suit their teams.  

A manager's ability to outwit his opponents could be the difference between lifting the trophy and an early exit. Our guide examines some of the top managers in this tournament. We look at their tactics and discuss how they plan to lead their team to glory in Germany.

Gareth Southgate (England)

Southgate is renowned for his cautious approach to selections. As a result, do not expect too many surprises from the former Middlesbrough man. The Three Lions will need to improve defensively to have any chance of winning Euro 2024.  They have looked shaky at the back in recent friendlies against Brazil and Belgium.

England's central challenge lies in finding the optimal midfield configuration. Southgate has historically favoured a defensive-minded double-pivot system. However, this approach has drawn criticism from many. Opposers of his tactics believe it fails to maximise the potential of players at his disposal. Unfortunately, Southgate is reluctant to deviate from his cautious tactical approach.

Playing Declan Rice as the midfield anchor with Jude Bellingham and Kobbie Mainoo ahead of him could provide England with more creativity in central areas. This setup aligns with Southgate's preferred 4-3-3 formation, which he occasionally switches to a more defensive 4-2-3-1 or an offensive 3-4-3.

Southgate's England prioritises careful play at the back over an all-out attacking approach. His England teams are adept at looking for opportunities to intercept the ball and launch quick counter-attacks. 

In defence, they often line up in a 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1 formation, with Mount playing as high as Kane. The pressing is high and quite risky, so the fast fullbacks have the additional task of securing the central defenders.

The midfield is compact and tight, but England tends to leave a lot of space for their rivals on the wings. England builds its attacks slowly from the back, using safe passing options at the expense of forward progress, but this is done with a very high rotation.

Didier Deschamps (France)

France finished as the runner-up at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and is a strong contender in this tournament. Les Blues showcased their dominance during the qualifying campaign, defeating the Netherlands both home and away.

Deschamps's only challenge is selecting the final squad, particularly in the defensive department. With many options at his disposal, it will be intriguing to see which big-name stars are omitted from the final lineup.

The midfield setup appears relatively straightforward. Barring any fitness concerns, Adrien Rabiot, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Antoine Griezmann will likely be the starters in that department. 

Olivier Giroud, Marcus Thuram, and Randal Kolo Muani will battle for the central striking role. On the flanks, Kingsley Coman and Ousmane Dembele will vie for the right-wing spot. Kylian Mbappe's presence on the left wing is essentially guaranteed. 

After Euro 2020, Didier Deschamps switched his team to a three-at-the-back system. He predominantly deploys a 3-4-3 formation with two variants. The first option is a more offensive 3-4-1-2. When it is necessary to defend, they adopt a more cautious 3-4-2-1.

In defence, France employs a high but narrow pressing strategy to regain possession as quickly as possible and initiate counter-attacks. This pressing approach starts from the front offensive line, with Griezmann often playing as the pressing forward. In this role, he applies pressure on the opponent's defensive midfielder.

However, France does not rely solely on this strategy. At times, they opt to exert pressure on the opponent in the middle zone of the pitch. In these scenarios, they wait for specific "triggers" such as a poor pass, a sloppy first touch, a turnover, or a backward pass by the opposition.

Luis de la Fuente (Spain)

Despite losing against Scotland during the qualifying rounds, Spain overcame the setback and secured their place at Euro 2024. Under the guidance of Luis de la Fuente, this talented Spanish side could prove to be an extremely dangerous force in Germany.

Spain has a well-rounded squad with excellent options in goal and at the back. Its highly technical midfield boasts numerous world-class players. The Spaniards scored an impressive 25 goals in just eight qualifiers. This record suggests they have the attacking prowess required to triumph in a major tournament.

The key to de la Fuente's hopes lies in Manchester City midfielder Rodri. The Man City man can control the centre of the park for Spain and build their attacks. The only selection quandary facing the manager is on the left flank. They currently have Dani Olmo, Nico Williams, and Ferran Torres, all capable players in that position.

De la Fuente has predominantly employed a 4-3-3 system during his tenure so far. However, with Euro 2024 just three months away, he opted to switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation. This system served him well during his time in charge of the Spanish U21 side. 

Initially, Gerard Moreno was assigned the attacking midfielder role. However, recent reports suggest that this position is being prepared for the talented Pedri ahead of the summer.

Pedri previously played this role under de la Fuente at the 2021 Olympic Games. Despite being injured, the 21-year-old prodigy should recover in time for Euro 2024. His added creative spark could be the difference for the Spaniards in this competition.

Luciano Spalletti (Italy)

Under manager Luciano Spalletti, Italy thrives on tactical flexibility. They can switch gears, employing a high-pressing system to overwhelm opponents or a patient build-up to unlock defences. This adaptability makes them a dangerous opponent in any matchup.

This flexibility keeps opponents on their toes and enables Italy to control the pace of games. Spalletti's strategic plan for the Euro 2024 is further highlighted through their inventive formations and tactics. The Azzurri are eager to toy with diverse systems to exploit their opponent's frailties. 

Employing everything from customary formations like the 4-3-3 to more avant-garde systems like the 3-5-2, Italy's tactical flexibility not only provides a solid defensive foundation but also unlocks the full potential of its attacking prowess. Undoubtedly, they are a formidable force in the tournament.

Spalletti's Italy boasts a double threat: tactical adaptability and youthful exuberance. They can transform mid-match, adjusting formations to neutralise threats. Spalletti's young squad also allows him to utilise energetic substitutes, keeping the team fresh and creative throughout the game.

Julian Nagelsmann (Germany)

Nagelsmann's Germany is another team that could be in contention for the Euro 2024 title. Playing in their own country provides the host team with a distinct edge over their opponents. Toni Kroos' decision to come out of international retirement should significantly boost Germany's cause. Nonetheless, the absence of an elite-level centre-forward within their ranks could potentially derail their aspirations. Julian Nagelsmann might start Niclas Füllkrug or Kai Havertz to spearhead his attack.

Nagelsmann has implemented a structure with a foundational 4-2-3-1 formation that switches to a 3-2-5 formation during the attacking phase. Florian Wirtz plays in a slightly tucked-in position in the frontline, while Robin Gosens assumes the role of an advancing left-back. 

Gosens provides the width that enables Wirtz to position himself inside, creating a box-like formation. Jamal Musiala assumes the role of an advanced forward, operating behind the primary striker. Leroy Sane then positions himself in a wide, advanced role on the flanks. This tactical setup is largely influenced by Jonathan Tah's tendency to take a slightly deeper defensive position on the right side of the field.

What immediately stands out is Nagelsmann's renowned vertical football style. He is recognized for his offensive and vertically oriented approach, especially in swiftly transitioning through the midfield. This style's flexibility is marked by variations like a back 2, back 3, or back 4 formation. 

Regardless of the formation, certain elements remain consistent: Gosens plays as a left wingback (LWB), positioned wide and distanced from the centrebacks, avoiding tucking inside. Gross occupies central positions, and Gündogan drops deeper to provide support. 

Tah's role resembles a right center back or right back, reminiscent of Nagelsmann's approach with Pavard. This configuration often creates a lopsided structure, resembling a 3-2-4-1 or a 4-1-4-1.


Euro 2024 will be a captivating showcase of tactical innovation and adaptation. While meticulous planning is crucial, managers must also be prepared to react quickly. 

The manager who can best adjust their tactics in real-time and inspire their players to execute the plan stands a huge chance of hoisting the Euro 2024 trophy. For the best predictions on this tournament, visit the EaglePredict website where experts have created Euro 2024 hub. You will find well-researched and accurate content related to Euro 2024 betting and predictions on the site.

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