Euro 2024 Group E Predictions: Ukraine to clinch second after Belgium

Euro 2024 Group E shouldn't provide too many shocks, with Belgium the clear favourites to claim top spot. However, Ukraine, Romania and Slovakia will all fancy their chances of progressing through to the knockout stage alongside the Red Devils.

We believe that Ukraine are most likely to finish as runners-up, but Romania and Slovakia both have quality players in their squads and will believe that they can reach the Round of 16 via the backdoor of being a superior third-place team. Read on to see why…

Belgium Euro 2024 Group E
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku (left) and England's Kieran Trippier battle for the ball – Photo by Icon Sport

Euro 2024 Group E winners prediction & group forecast

Group Winners – Belgium

With their ‘golden generation' having largely come and gone now, Belgium aren't one of the top picks to win Euro 2024 but they certainly have an outside chance. This could play to their advantage psychologically, keeping the pressure off despite the nation's lack of any major silverware.

Some of the players of their ‘golden generation' still remain in any case, and have the quality to cause some shocks. This talent is still dotted all over the park, with Romelu Lukaku boasting a great international goalscoring record, while Thibaut Courtois remains one of the world's best goalkeepers.

Perhaps most importantly of all, playmaker Kevin De Bruyne heads into the tournament on the back of an excellent season with Manchester City. Meanwhile, his teammate Jérémy Doku and fellow PL midfielder Amadou Onana are the two young players that provide Belgium with plenty of energy.

ukraine vs iceland
Artem Dobyk in Euro 2024 qualifying action – Photo by Icon Sport

Runners Up – Ukraine

The Ukraine squad has a good mix of domestic and European-based players, as well as youth and experience, which should help it negotiate Group E.

Andriy Yarmolenko captains the side, but Roman Yaremchuk, Mykhailo Mudryk and Oleksandr Zinchenko provide the most quality in this team. Everton's Vitaliy Mykolenko enjoyed another good season with the Toffees, but an injury picked up late in the season means he might not be fit for the opening game.

Ukraine has plenty of international tournament experience, too, and that should give them an advantage over a Romanian side considered to be their closest challengers for the runners-up spot.

Romania national team
Dennis Man of Romania in action against Michael Smith of Northern Ireland – Photo by Icon Sport

Third Place – Romania

Romania are back at the European Championships after failing to qualify for Euro 2020, but they will be hoping for a better result in Germany than they managed at Euro 2016, where they finished bottom of their group with just a single point.

George Pușcaș provides the main goal threat with 11 goals in 41 caps, while midfielder Nicolae Stanciu captains the team and has an eye for goal. The Romanians have a few good players in their squad capable of winning matches, but we can't see this team finishing any higher than third

Slovakia national team
Martin Ødegaard of Norway and Laszlo Benes of Slovakia in action – Photo by Icon Sport

Eliminated – Slovakia

The biggest issue facing this Slovakia side is goals. Defending shouldn't be an issue, with PSG's Milan Škriniar captaining the side from centre-back, duly providing a likely defence-minded midfield with crucial instructions.

Former favourite Marek Hamšík will be a huge miss, of course, with his retirement from international football providing something of a tactical headache.

Up front, Boavista's Róbert Boženík is the most likely candidate to lead the line, but he has only scored six times in 37 caps. With that in mind, we're backing Slovakia to finish in last place, though it's certainly one of the tougher calls we've made to date.

Group E Winners – Potential Round of 16 opponents

If Belgium did top Group E as we expected, they could come up against Hungary, Croatia or Poland in the last 16. Out of those ties, Croatia are probably the ones that Belgium would hope to avoid.

A lifelong Evertonian, James started writing for an Everton fan site in the mid-2000s and then developed his own blog covering football transfers from across Europe's big leagues before becoming a regular match preview and betting tips writer for Biggest Free Bets. James moved to Free Super Tips next, and then Racing Post, where he worked as a full-time betting tips writer for a few years. Following that, James joined Football Whispers in December 2020 and has been a permanent fixture ever-since, currently covering the Premier League amongst other things