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Euros preview – who wins, assuming England don’t?

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Euros preview – who wins, assuming England don’t?

Euros preview – who wins, assuming England don’t?

England are fancied for another good showing at the Euros – see our preview here – but there are half a dozen sides who look like potential champions in Germany this summer.

Top of that list has to be France. Didier Deschamps’ side narrowly lost out to Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final; the team will be hopeful of another very strong showing in Germany.

France scored 14 goals in one qualifier

France won seven of their eight qualifiers to get here. In one match, they put 14 goals past the luckless Gibraltar.

While the side have a wealth of high quality players like William Saliba, Antoine Griezmann and Kingsley Coman, fundamental to the team’s success is Kylian Mbappe. Set to finally join Real Madrid this summer, the 25-year-old is widely recognised as one of football’s greatest talents.

A World Cup winner at the age of 18, Mbappe is a prolific goal scorer and will surely be France’s most devastating attacking player once again. France are 4/1 to win the Euros, with Mbappe 9/2 to score the most goals in the competition.

After some difficult years for Germany – they went out in the opening round in both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups – Die Mannschaft appear to be moving in the right direction.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side have beaten a formidable France side twice in recent friendlies. The team also overcame the Netherlands in March, despite having gone behind after four minutes.

This is Toni Kroos’ last hurrah

The mood around the team has improved, and as tournament hosts there’s every chance Germany can rise to this occasion.

This will be 34-year-old Toni Kroos’ last hurrah; having just helped Real Madrid win the Champions League once more, can Kroos finish his career with Euros glory? Three-time winners Germany are 11/2 to lift the cup.

And how about Portugal? Could Cristiano Ronaldo enjoy a late career renaissance culminating in the side winning the Euros once more, having first triumphed in 2016?

Don’t read too much into the fact they lost a friendly against Croatia 2-1 at the weekend. They also won 3-0 against Ireland on Tuesday night – with Ronaldo scoring twice.

Portugal having a good tournament doesn’t seem that fanciful, with the side qualifying in eye-catching fashion – ten games, ten wins. Ronaldo might be playing in the less demanding Saudi Arabia league these days, but he’s still been performing for his nation at the age of 39.

Ronaldo may enjoy further Euros glory

The prospect of one of football’s most iconic individuals enjoying further Euros glory isn’t out of the question. And CR7 isn’t even the most, uh, experienced member of the squad, with 41-year-old defender Pepe also making the cut.

Still, with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix and Diogo Jota all turning out for Roberto Martinez’s side, this one might not be all about the old guard. If you want to avoid backing the most obvious favourites, Portugal may well be worth taking a chance on; they are 15/2 to become Euros champions.

Luis de la Fuente’s Spain are another side worth keeping in mind as potential champions, even if a 2-0 loss to Scotland a year ago left us a little taken aback.

Since September though, Spain have won all their qualifying matches. The side warmed up for the Euros by putting five goals past Andorra and another five past Northern Ireland last week.

Rodri – the best midfielder in the world?

Not the most demanding of opposition, of course. The squad is short on superstar players too, though Man City’s Rodri was the player with both the most passes and the most touches in the Premier League last season. Pep Guardiola calls him the best midfielder in the world.

In attack, Alvaro Morata is not quite so reliable; the striker scored 15 league goals for Atletico Madrid this season, which sounds promising; since February though, he has only found the net twice for his club.

Morata did score against Northern Ireland at the weekend; perhaps he is gearing up for a good showing at this tournament. Spain are 8/1 to win the Euros.

As for the reigning champions, Luca Spalletti’s Italy will have to work hard just to progress from a group stage containing Spain, Croatia and Albania. With the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci having retired from international duty, this current Italian side has an unfamiliar look.

The Azzurri lost to England 3-1 back in October, and the side are 16/1 to retain the trophy; still, few expected Spalletti to guide Napoli to Serie A glory in the 22/23 season. Perhaps Italy can flourish as underdogs in Germany.

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