Euro 2024, Champions League, and World Cup Previews Ahead of Blockbuster Summer

As the countdown to Euro 2024 continues, we analyze the top contenders for the trophy, including potential breakout players and expert insights on their prospects.

The tournament kicks off on June 14 when hosts Germany take on Scotland at the Allianz Arena. England’s first game sees them face Serbia on June 16.

So, how are England, Germany, France, Portugal, and defending champions Italy shaping up for the big event? Let’s dive in.

England (10/3 with Sky Bet)

Group C: Serbia, Denmark, Slovenia
While England breezed through qualifying, their recent form and fitness concerns have dampened the mood. Gareth Southgate’s squad is packed with attacking talent, but inexperience could be an issue. The defense, with Harry Maguire injured and Luke Shaw lacking match fitness, is the biggest worry.

Key players: Jude Bellingham, John Stones
Wildcards: Kobbie Mainoo, Adam Wharton, Eberechi Eze

France (9/2 with Sky Bet)

Group D: Austria, Netherlands, Poland
France’s recent results have been inconsistent, but they tend to excel when it matters most. Didier Deschamps’ side boasts enviable options, led by the prolific Kylian Mbappe. But there are some uncertainties in defense, with the manager still to settle on his preferred central defensive pairing.

Key player: Kylian Mbappe
Wildcard: Bradley Barcola

Germany (9/2 with Sky Bet)

Group A: Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland
Optimism is growing that Germany could end the 40-year drought for a home Euros winner. Julian Nagelsmann has transformed the mood, with a formula featuring a flat back four, the return of Toni Kroos, and Arsenal’s Kai Havertz as a roving striker.

Key player: Toni Kroos
Wildcards: Florian Wirtz, Deniz Undav, Maximilian Beier

Portugal (10/1 with Sky Bet)

Group F: Czech Republic, Turkey, Georgia
Underestimate Portugal at your peril. Roberto Martinez’s side won all 10 qualifying games and boast immense depth. Cristiano Ronaldo remains key, but this is no longer his team, with Bruno Fernandes now the main creative force.

Key players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva
Wildcard: Joao Neves

Spain (12/1 with Sky Bet)

Group B: Croatia, Italy, Albania
Spain overcame an early loss to Scotland to ease through qualifying. While they are without the injured Gavi, Barcelona teammate Pedri looks to have found form at the right time. Rodri will be pivotal in midfield, while 16-year-old Lamine Yamal could see significant minutes.

Key player: Rodri
Wildcard: Lamine Yamal

Italy (14/1 with Sky Bet)

Group B: Albania, Spain, Croatia
The reigning champions have endured a turbulent period since their 2021 triumph, failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. But they have shown defensive improvements under new boss Luciano Spalletti. Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella will be crucial.

Key players: Alessandro Bastoni, Nicolo Barella
Wildcard: Mateo Retegui

Other Contenders:
The Netherlands (18/1) have a strong defensive unit but have been rocked by injuries. Belgium’s (20/1) golden generation seeks a first trophy, while Croatia (33/1) always punch above their weight with Luka Modric leading the charge.

๐Ÿ”— Source