Football News

Euro 2024 Most Fouls Predictions and players to watch

By Squawka News

Published: 12:46, 3 June 2024 | Updated: 11:44, 13 June 2024

Euro 2024 Most Fouls Predictions

Euro 2024 is quickly approaching, with 24 nations gathering in Germany. It is undeniable that maintaining a composed demeanour is crucial for success.

What that essentially means is limiting the number of fouls. However, it’s far from a guarantee because, whether they like it or not, some players cannot help themselves by bringing the opposition down, increasing the likelihood of entering the referee’s book.

Defensive Midfielders

Modern football tactics dictate that every team entering this competition will field a defensive midfielder, with some opting for one player sitting in front of the backline and others utilising two patrollers. This role takes on greater importance as the individual protects a team’s defence, but with the game often being played at breakneck speed, they are prone to bringing the opposition down.

The likes of Xaver Schlager (RB Leipzig/Austria), Declan Rice (Arsenal/England) and Stanislav Lobotka (Napoli/Slovakia) are ones to keep an eye on after committing 30+ fouls during the 2023/24 domestic season.

Defenders

Defenders are most likely to increase their foul count due to their proximity to opposition attacking players on the pitch and their primary role of keeping forwards at bay. During the 2023/24 domestic season, Portugal’s first-choice full-backs, Diogo Dalot (Manchester United) and João Cancelo (Barcelona), committed 40 or more fouls. Roberto Martinez will hope they do not repeat this behaviour during the tournament this summer.

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Aggressive Attackers

The rise of gegenpressing has coincided with some teams instructing their forwards to be aggressive from the front. This means pressing defenders when not in possession. Consequently, certain attackers have become known for accumulating unnecessary fouls. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) will likely start in England’s right flank but goes into the Euros having committed 41 fouls in the season that have just gone. In the qualifying tournament, Ukraine forward Mykhailo Mudryk (Chelsea) committed the most fouls (18) among forwards.

Euro 2024 Teams likely to commit the most fouls

Of the 50 teams that participated in Euro 2024 qualifying, only five committed 13+ fouls per game. However, just one of those teams will be in Germany this summer. Ukraine (13.6) are expected to perform well in this aspect at Euro 2024, along with Scotland (12.8), Czech Republic (12.3), Hungary (12.3), Netherlands (12.3), Poland (11.7), Slovakia (11.7), Serbia (11.6), Italy (11.5), Slovenia (11.3), Turkey (11.3), Georgia (10.8), Romania (10.6), Albania (10.5), and Austria (10).

Euro 2024 Teams with Aggressive Playing Styles

Sticking with the 2024 UEFA Euro qualifying campaign, eight nations received three or more bookings per 90 minutes. Only Turkey (3.38) will be in Germany this summer. Expect Vincenzo Montella’s team to play aggressively in a competitive group, with Portugal as the strong favourites. Scotland, meanwhile, conceded two penalties, the most of any Euro 2024 participant during the qualifying phase, with Denmark, Italy, Georgia, Ukraine, Slovakia, and France all giving away one.

Most Fouls Committed in Previous Euro Tournaments

For some who pride themselves as enforcers, being ranked high on this list could be seen as a badge of honour. But make no mistake — it’s an inglorious ranking that could blight a player’s reputation. Hence, no award is presented to whoever finishes a tournament having committed the most fouls. Look at some of the recent “winners”, and you’ll find a familiar name or two, with all playing outside of defence.

Year Player Nation Fouls
Euro 2020 – Europe Thomas Delaney Denmark 15
Euro 2016 – France João Mário Portugal 15
Euro 2012 – Poland/Ukraine Mario Balotelli Italy 17
Euro 2008 – Austria/Switzerland Michael Ballack Germany 22
Euro 2004 – Portugal Deco Portugal 23

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