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Who Are the Favourites to Win Euro 2024?



As the last international break before Euro 2024 draws to a close, the highly-anticipated tournament is fast approaching, with kick-off at the Allianz Arena in Munich less than three months away. Germany take on Scotland in the first fixture of the tournament on June 14, but who are the favourites to go all the way and bring home the trophy?


England



The Three Lions head into the tournament as favourites among many of the bookmakers. This will not come as too much of a surprise, as this is undoubtedly one of the most talented England squads we have seen in recent years. Gareth Southgate not only has world-class players at his disposal, but he also has a stronger squad than he has had in previous years, with plenty of competition for places as England look to win their first trophy since their famous World Cup win in 1966.


England are particularly spoilt for choice when it comes to attacking options, with Ollie Watkins, Marcus Rashford, Cole Palmer, Jack Grealish, Ivan Toney, Anthony Gordon and Jarrod Bowen all battling to even secure a place in the squad this summer.


Experienced players who are proven on the international stage will undeniably be crucial to any success England have this summer. The likes of Harry Kane, John Stones, Declan Rice and Kyle Walker will bring a plethora of international experience to the team and give Southgate’s side a solid core of players that can lead the team, and the younger players can learn from.


However, it is the exciting young players coming through who make this England squad one of the most exciting we have seen in years. Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Kobbie Mainoo have emerged as some of the most exciting young prospects in the world. Bellingham has established himself as one of the best players in the world at Real Madrid, while Saka and Foden have shone in the Premier League, becoming widely regarded as two of the best young players in the country. Mainoo is a player who has only made 23 senior appearances for his club, Manchester United, but has hugely impressed at his first senior England camp. The 18-year-old has been composure personified for club and country, his calmness on the ball exemplary. The youngster featured against Brazil and even picked up player of the match for his outstanding performance against Belgium. The Stockport-born midfielder certainly has the potential to be a leading figure for England for many years to come.


England picked up a 2-2 draw against Belgium on Wednesday night, following a narrow 1-0 defeat to Brazil on Saturday. Despite a slightly underwhelming March camp, England will not be too worried, as the Three Lions were unbeaten since December 2022 prior to the Brazil defeat, and have showed glimpses of what they are capable of. It's also worth noting that only three to four of their preferred starting XI were available.


Southgate’s current contract expires at the end of this year, and England’s performance in this competition could be decisive in whether he will continue at the helm of the England national team.  There is optimism that Southgate’s side can go all the way and bring the European Championship trophy this summer.


France



Alongside England, France are among the favourites to lift the European Championship trophy come July 14. Les Bleus have a squad stacked full of world-class players, Kylian Mbappe being the star man.


The PSG forward is widely renowned as one of the best players in the world and has been pivotal for his country. However, France will not rely solely on their talisman, as they have plenty of experienced top-level players, including Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud who will continue to be valuable assets to their country.


Similarly to England, France also have several exciting young prospects in their ranks, including Arsenal defender William Saliba and midfield wonderkids Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni who have been important players for La Liga giants Real Madrid. Warren Zaire-Emery is also an exciting young player to watch, having marked his international debut in November with a goal.


One of the biggest strengths of Didier Deschamps’ squad is they do not only have immense quality, but they have it in extortionate depth. They have excellent squad depth in almost every position, and are not only stacked with quality attacking players but have lots of competition for places all over the pitch. For example, Les Bleus have Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Jean-Clair Todibo, Benjamin Pavard, Jules Kounde, Ibrahima Konate, Wesley Fofana, Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile all fighting for a centre-back spot. This shows how incredible the depth is within their squad. There will be a huge selection dilemma for Deschamps come June.


France are arguably stronger now than they were back at the World Cup in Qatar. They have only lost once since then, a friendly against Germany on Saturday. Deschamps’ side impressed in Euros qualifying, remaining undefeated and picking up impressive victories against the Netherlands both home and away. After finishing runners-up in the 2022 World Cup, Les Bleus will be looking to go one better in the Euros and secure their third European Championship title.


Germany



Germany have struggled in recent years, having suffered back-to-back World Cup group stage exits, as well as being knocked out of the last European Championships by England in the round of 16 three years ago.


Julian Nagelsmann was appointed Germany manager back in September after Hansi Flick’s sacking, and the former Bayern Munich boss will be hoping to turn his country’s fortunes around and bring home silverware in Germany’s home Euros.


Germany may not be the footballing powerhouse they were when they lifted the World Cup only a decade ago, however, there is no doubt they do have some excellent players within the squad. Joshua Kimmich, Antonio Rudiger, Toni Kroos, Ilkay Gundogan and Thomas Muller will bring quality and experience to the squad, while exciting young talents Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz will also be looking to make an impact on the tournament after impressing in the Bundesliga.


There is no doubt there are some fantastic players in the German squad, but it could be argued that Die Mannschaft do not have quite the same quality in depth that the likes of France and England possess right now. Having said that, Germany should not be underestimated. They have a top coach in Nagelsmann, some world-class players and the support of a home crowd behind them this summer, which could make the difference.


Spain



Spain’s most recent golden generation has now faded away, as all members of La Roja’s iconic 2010 World Cup winning squad have now retired from international football following Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets’ retirements. However, there is plenty of talent in this current Spain squad.


Barcelona starlet Lamine Yamal has been hailed by many as the best young player in Europe this season, and he will be looking to replicate his superb club form for his country this summer. Rodri, who is viewed by many as the best defensive midfielder in the world, is key to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, and he will no doubt be key to Luis de la Fuente’s side if they are going to go far in this tournament. Barcelona midfielder Pedri will also be integral to the Spanish midfield. Players of such high quality in possession will help the Spaniards keep the ball and play the style of football they are renowned for, but they will need to convert possession into goals if they are going to go far in the tournament.


Spain will need Alvaro Morata to be firing in front of goal this summer. Some would argue that Spain have lacked an out-and-out goal scorer since the days of Fernando Torres and David Villa, however, Morata has had a solid season so far for his club, netting 14 goals in 26 games in La Liga, therefore there is hope he will be able to rack up goals for La Roja this summer. If he performs, Spain will have a much greater chance of success this summer.


Spain beat Croatia on penalties to win the UEFA Nations League back in June 2023, therefore this Spanish group already have experience winning trophies together. Despite a narrow 1-0 defeat to Colombia at the weekend, Spain have generally impressed since their Nations League win, picking up six wins on the bounce before the recent Colombia defeat.


Spain will be hoping their blend of youth and experience can guide them to the European Championship trophy this summer.


Portugal



Despite not being one of the main favourites to win the Euros, they might just be the dark horse that could have the potential to shock Europe and go all the way this summer.


The Selecao do not only have brilliant players, but they have big-game players. Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva and Jao Cancelo to name a few are fantastic players but also serial winners and have the experience of winning trophies at the top level.


Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes, Matheus Nunes, Jao Felix, Rafael Leao and Diogo Jota, who have all impressed with their clubs, are also expected to play an important role in what will be a very strong Portugal side.


Roberto Martinez is expected to stick with Ronaldo, the Portugal legend, for what is likely to be his last-ever international tournament as a player. However, PSG striker Goncalo Ramos will be hot on his heels, as he looks to break into the Portuguese starting 11.


Last time out in the Euros, Portugal were disappointingly dumped out of the tournament by Belgium in the last 16. They then suffered a shock quarter-final defeat to Morocco at the Qatar World Cup. Fernando Santos stepped down as head coach following the defeat, with former Belgian boss Martinez stepping into the role.


Martinez has impressed so far, winning his first 10 games in charge of Portugal, and the Selecao will be hoping to continue this incredible form to complete what could be a fairy-tale ending to Cristiano Ronaldo’s international career.


These are the bookmakers favourites to win Euro 2024, but who do you think will lift the trophy come July 14?





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