Experts Predictions for England vs Serbia Euro 2024 Opener

Experts Predictions for England vs Serbia Euro 2024 Opener

England’s European Championship campaign begins in less than 48 hours, with a feisty clash against Serbia pencilled in for Sunday evening in Gelsenkirchen. 

Gareth Southgate’s side have seen out an unimpressive preparation period, winning 3-0 against Bosnia and Herzegovina in their first pre-tournament friendly, but drawing 0-0 to old tournament foe Iceland in their final match before flying to Germany. 

But after a week’s training on the continent, how will the team look when their tournament begins in earnest? 

Here, Mail Sport’s experts cast their predictions ahead of the Three Lions’ curtain-raiser.  

 

Chris Sutton

Serbia have not been impressive for the past 18 months, even if they do have dangerous players in Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Aleksandar Mitrovic, and England’s creative players should have too much for them. A comfortable(ish) win to follow. 

VERDICT: ENGLAND 2 SERBIA 0

England have been preparing in Germany all week ahead of their opening match versus Serbia

England will be wary of the threat provided by former Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic

England will be wary of the threat provided by former Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic

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Martin Keown

A slow but steady start from England to kick-start another tournament for which we have high hopes. 

VERDICT: ENGLAND 2 SERBIA 1 

Bryan Robson

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It’s always important not to lose your first game. In 1988 we put ourselves under pressure straight away by losing to Republic of Ireland, which meant we needed to beat Netherlands and the USSR who ended up as the two finalists. 

I would like a clean sheet but I don’t see it being straightforward because of the disruption in defence. Hopefully we have enough flair players to secure a win. 

VERDICT: ENGLAND 2 SERBIA 1

Graeme Souness

I don’t want to hang my hat on a scoreline but I fancy England to beat Serbia and sail through the group stage without too many issues. It’s important that John Stones has returned to training as he’s a fabulous player and key for the defence but, if they play well, England’s forwards will be difficult to live with. I expect them to go far. 

VERDICT: ENGLAND WIN 

Mail Sport's Oliver Holt reckons that prodigal attacking talent like Phil Foden will prove too hot to handle

Mail Sport’s Oliver Holt reckons that prodigal attacking talent like Phil Foden will prove too hot to handle

Oliver Holt

I’m worried about Serbia using Mitrovic to exploit weaknesses in England’s defence and I think they will score. But one defeat by Iceland should not obscure the fact England are blessed with wonderful attacking talent. 

Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka should be way too good for the Serbia backline. 

VERDICT: ENGLAND 2 SERBIA 1 

Sami Mokbel

England will have too much firepower but I think the Serbs will breach the defence. 

VERDICT: ENGLAND 2 SERBIA 2 

Ivan Toney (left) will hope for a cameo appearance while Bukayo Sako could start on Sunday

Ivan Toney (left) will hope for a cameo appearance while Bukayo Sako could start on Sunday

Craig Hope

A scoreline reflective of England’s strength and weakness. I think they will concede but the attacking power will be too great for Serbia and I expect – after a cagey first half – that England will win relatively comfortably, with a late goal from one of Gareth Southgate’s ‘finishers’ (aka substitutes). 

VERDICT: ENGLAND 3 SERBIA 1 

Mike Keegan

Nervy start sees Serbia exploit an undercooked defence to take the lead before England roar back. 

VERDICT: ENGLAND 2 SERBIA 1 

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