Euro 2024: What's at stake for the knockout rounds ahead of the final day of group games

There are a lot of unknowns for the knockout rounds ahead of the final day of group play on Wednesday at Euro 2024.

The tournament features 24 teams in six groups of four and 16 teams advance to the knockout rounds. The top two teams from each group automatically qualify, and the final four spots are reserved for the four best third-place teams across the groups.

We know the Netherlands is surely advancing to the knockout stages despite a 3-2 loss to Austria on Tuesday. The results of the games in Group C — two underwhelming 0-0 draws — ensured that Denmark and Slovenia each finished with three points. The Dutch earned four points in Group D and have the most points of any third-place team with two groups left to play.

The third-place team from Group E also has a great chance at advancing. Romania, Belgium, Slovakia and Ukraine each have three points through the first two rounds of games. Belgium plays Ukraine and Slovakia plays Romania on Wednesday.

In Group F, Portugal has already won the group with two wins in two games. Turkey is in second with three points, while Czechia and Georgia each have a point. Portugal plays Czechia and Turkey plays Georgia on Wednesday afternoon.

Germany won Group A with seven points and Switzerland finished second with five points. In Group B, Spain won all nine points, while Italy grabbed second in the group thanks to a last-gasp goal for a draw against Croatia on Monday afternoon. Italy will play Switzerland in the Round of 16.

Despite a drab draw with Slovenia on Tuesday, England won Group C with five points and will also play a third-place team, while Denmark and Slovenia tied with three points, an even goal difference, two goals allowed and two goals scored.

Denmark advanced as the second-place team thanks to one fewer yellow card over the three games than Slovenia. But Slovenia's neutral goal difference means they're in a good position to advance.

Here’s how the four third-place teams who have played all three group games rank against each other ahead of Wednesday.

1. The Netherlands, 4 points
2. Slovenia, 3 points (0 goal difference)
3. Hungary, 3 points (-3)
4. Croatia, 2 points (-3)

Croatia will not advance since every team in Group E already has three points. Both Romania and Belgium have a goal difference of +1 in that group, Slovakia’s goal difference is at 0 and Ukraine is at -2.

Ahead of the tournament, UEFA slotted the four third-place teams via a predetermined order. Since Croatia has already been eliminated, there are five different combinations still alive pending the results of Wednesday’s games. If Hungary advances, it will play Portugal. The Netherlands, meanwhile, could play either England or the winner of Group E depending on how Wednesday shakes out.

In Group F, Turkey is at -1 goal differential with three points, while Czechia is at -1 at 1 point and Georgia is at -2 with 1 point. Thanks to the draws in Group C, Turkey will qualify for the knockout rounds with a win, draw or one-goal loss against Georgia. Both Czechia and Georgia need to win their games to qualify in either second or third place.

Simply put, we won’t know the combination of four third-place teams advancing into the knockout rounds until the entirety of group play is complete Wednesday. And the four first-place teams set to play third-place teams won’t know their opponents until Group F play concludes either.