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Euro 2024 play-offs: Wales’ route, fixtures, schedule, venues and more

The Euro 2024 play-offs take place this month to decide the final three nations travelling to Germany this summer. Here’s all you need to know…

How do the Euro 2024 play-offs work?

The four top-ranked sides from Leagues A, B and C in the Nations League that did not gain entry to Euro 2024 via qualifying have entered the play-offs.

The 12 sides have been divided into three paths, each containing four sides. Path A features Poland, Wales, Estonia and Finland; Path B includes Israel, Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iceland; and Path C is made up of Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan and Luxembourg.

Poland and Wales are in Path A as they are the only two sides from League A to fail to reach Euro 2024 via qualifying.

Estonia joined them as the highest-ranked League D side that had also failed to qualify for the finals, while Finland are included as the best-placed League B side that did not already qualify for Euro 2024 and did not win their Nations League group.

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Wales boss Rob Page says Aaron Ramsey’s return from injury is going well after he was named in the squad for their Euro 2024 play-off semi-finals

Paths B and C were constructed in a more straightforward fashion, with all eight sides placed in the path directly corresponding to their league.

Each path features two single-legged semi-finals and a single-legged final. The best-ranked side in each path is hosting the fourth-ranked side, while the second-ranked side hosts the third-ranked.

The host cities for the finals were decided via a draw.

If matches are level after 90 minutes, 30 minutes of extra-time will be played, followed by penalties if necessary.

What are the fixtures?

In Path A, Wales will host Finland in their semi-final in Cardiff. Poland host Estonia in the other semi-final, while the final will be held in either Cardiff or Helsinki.

The Path B semi-finals see Ukraine travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina, while Israel’s home game against Iceland has been moved to Budapest because of the Israel-Hamas war. The final will be in either Bosnia or Poland, which is hosting Ukraine’s games due to Russia’s invasion of the country.

Georgia are hosting Luxembourg in the first Path C semi-final, with Kazakhstan visiting Greece in the second tie. The final will be in either Georgia or Luxembourg.

All semi-finals take place on Thursday, with all finals held on Tuesday March 26 – at which point, we will know all 24 Euro 2024 participants, as well as the schedule for all group fixtures.

Analysis: Euro qualification back in Welsh hands

Rob Page came through the weekend matches unscathed
Image: Rob Page came through the weekend matches unscathed

Sky Sports News senior reporter Geraint Hughes:

Tempting fate is never the wisest move so the points I’m outlining are just facts. The result against Finland on Thursday regardless will require a mixture of hard work, tactical nous and probably a little luck helps as well.

Wales though go into the Euro 2024 play-offs in a position they have rarely been in, even accounting for the presence and genius of Gareth Bale. All 28 players selected by manager Rob Page came through the weekend matches unscathed, only Wes Burns at Ipswich a slight doubt.

In addition, the vast majority of those players are regulars at their clubs and getting what Page calls ‘good minutes into their legs’.

Aaron Ramsey has been plagued by injuries this season
Image: Aaron Ramsey has been plagued by injuries this season

Bale for the latter part of his international career was playing few minutes at Real Madrid, Tottenham and LAFC, was managing a sore body while many of the younger players were not regulars at their clubs which meant every international camp for Wales felt a little like a lottery when it came to who was fit to play.

That’s changed. Obvious one first, Bale has retired, but the younger generation are growing up and have proved themselves at clubs in the Premier League and Championship. They are fit, firing and hungry.

That makes Page’s job easier. Not necessarily from the point of view of selecting the starting XI, that’ll be tough as he has to balance Wales’ attacking intentions with analysis of the threat Finland pose, but Page appears to have greater strength in depth from the bench.

Again, an obvious one is Aaron Ramsey. He probably won’t start against Finland, he’s barely played in almost six months, but he’s on his way back and perhaps him coming off the bench for 20-30 minutes appears to be a bonus rather Wales lamenting not being able to pick him from the start.

Players like Harry Wilson at Fulham, Brennan Johnson at Tottenham, the Leeds gang including Ethan Ampadu, Joe Rodon and Dan James, all ably marshalled by a senior leader in Spurs Ben Davies, have given Wales a spine that is growing more solid like a good oak tree maturing.

Add to that even younger players like Forest’s Neco Williams and the ever-impressive Jordan James at Birmingham and Page has a team. And ‘team’ is the pertinent word.

Like any maturing team, mistakes happen. You can argue that Wales shouldn’t even be in these play-offs, that they should already have qualified for Euro 2024 last year.

They had the chance as it was in their own hands, but they didn’t get over the line then. Lack of experience? Lack of know-how? The next week or so offers a second chance to a squad that Page will hope continues to soak up experiences like the proverbial sponge.

It’s once again in Wales hands for them to qualify for the Euros in Germany.

Where and when will Euro 2024 be held?

Euro 2024 will take place from Friday June 14 to Sunday July 14.

Germany are the host nation and qualified automatically. West Germany hosted the tournament back in 1988 but this will be the first time Germany has staged the European Championship since reunification.

Who has qualified for Euro 2024?

In total, 24 teams will take part in the tournament, with 21 of those teams known.

Three further teams with progress through the play-offs, with Wales hoping to join England and Scotland at the finals.

What are the Euro 2024 groups?

Group A – Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

Group B – Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

Group C – Slovenia, Denmark, Serbia, England

Group D – Play-off winner A (Potentially Wales), Netherlands, Austria, France

Group E – Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, Play-off winner B

Group F – Turkey, Play-off winner C, Portugal, Czech Republic

What is the Euro 2024 schedule and format?

The top two teams from each of the six final tournament groups will proceed to the round of 16, along with the four best third-placed finishers.

Remaining qualifying dates

March 21, 2024: Play-off semi-finals
March 26, 2024: Play-off finals

Final tournament

June 14, 2024: Euro 2024 opening game, Munich Football Arena (Allianz Arena)
June 30 – July 2: Round of 16
July 5-6: Quarter-finals
July 9-10: Semi-finals
July 14: Euro 2024 final, Olympiastadion Berlin

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source