Some top pundits predict potential obstacles ahead of Euro 2024

Some top pundits predict potential obstacles ahead of Euro 2024

With the eagerly-anticipated European Championships set to kick off in Germany on Friday, a wealth of football pundits have been making their predictions on who will lift the trophy when it’s all said and done.

England head into the tournament with a litany of superstars at Gareth Southgate’s exposal, with Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham leading the ranks after superb seasons respectively, but last week’s drab 1-0 defeat by Iceland suggests there’s still plenty to iron out ahead of Sunday’s Group C opener against Serbia. 

While spirits are high in England, Three Lions fans are well aware of the threat posed by the likes of France, Germany and reigning champions Italy, with Portugal and the Netherlands heading to the Euros will star-studded outfits as well.

Meanwhile, it would also be unwise to rule out Spain and Belgium who, despite having headed to European Championships with stronger teams on paper, still boast talented players such as Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne respectively. 

Mail Sport takes a look at what the top pundits in football have predicted ahead of the tournament, with many tipping England to go all the way. 

Euro 2024 kicks off on Friday, with France (above) one of the favourites to win the tournament

Kevin De Bruyne is bidding for glory with Belgium after winning the Premier League with City

Kevin De Bruyne is bidding for glory with Belgium after winning the Premier League with City

 

Rio Ferdinand: ‘I’m going with England as favourites’

The former Manchester United star, who never played at a European Championship during his esteemed career, has backed England to win the tournament.

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Ferdinand does not think it will be a cakewalk for the Three Lions however, fearing that France and Germany also hold the tools to launch a tournament-winning campaign this summer.

‘I think the top two favourites have got to be England and France,’ he told TNT Sports. ‘I think England and France have kicked on from everybody else.

‘I don’t think they’ll win it, but I think they could go close because of their home advantage is Germany. That mentality around tournaments, whether you think they’re a good team or not they’ve got home advantage.

‘I’m going with England as favourites. Jude Bellingham is a top player and probably the best player in La Liga at the moment. Harry Kane is the top goalscorer in Germany and you’ve got Phil Foden firing in England.’

Rio Ferdinand is confident of England's chances but certainly doesn't think it will be a cakewalk

Rio Ferdinand is confident of England’s chances but certainly doesn’t think it will be a cakewalk

 

Wayne Rooney: ‘Portugal will have a good go’

While agreeing with his ex-Red Devils team-mate that England should head in as favourites, Rooney is tipping Portugal to have a strong tournament.

Headlined by Portuguese veteran Cristiano Ronaldo, but strengthened by a core of elite players including Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Raphael Leao, Roberto Martinez’s side travel to Germany with one of the best squads in the competition and have arguably the easiest group with Georgia, Czechia and Turkey to play before the knockouts.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Rooney said: ‘England have to be looking at winning the competition. 

‘I also have a feeling for Portugal, they have got a really good squad, good individuals. They will have a good go.’ 

Wayne Rooney has tipped his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to do well with Portugal

Wayne Rooney has tipped his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to do well with Portugal

While he doesn't necessarily think Portugal will win the tournament, he says they look strong

While he doesn’t necessarily think Portugal will win the tournament, he says they look strong

 

Jamie Carragher: ‘I don’t see how England beat them’

The Liverpool legend is forecasting English heartbreak in the Euro 2024 knockouts, proposing that Southgate’s men would not quite have enough to beat France in a head-to-head match.

If England meet Les Bleus in either the final or an earlier match, Carragher believes France’s experience will win out because they have a host of players at the biggest clubs in world football. 

The Three Lions, meanwhile, have opted for several players from Crystal Palace, as well as stars from the likes of Everton, Brighton and Brentford, for example. 

Carragher has also predicted that France will meet hosts Germany in the final, with the 2018 World Cup winners emerging victorious in the end. 

Jamie Carragher is predicting England heartbreak, claiming the Three Lions won't beat France

Jamie Carragher is predicting England heartbreak, claiming the Three Lions won’t beat France

France won the 2018 World Cup (above) and followed it up by reaching the 2022 final in Qatar

France won the 2018 World Cup (above) and followed it up by reaching the 2022 final in Qatar

‘I don’t see how England beat France, Carragher told The Telegraph. ‘I think England’s best team vs France’s best team is a toss of a coin. Some of the players who can’t get in the French team they’re winning Champions Leagues, they’re playing for some of the biggest clubs in the world. That’s my only feeling.

‘I keep going back to the squad of France and who they can bring off the bench. I think Germany are in the final because they’re at home. The experience they’ve got with players who won the World Cup. I just think France will have enough to beat Germany in their own backyard.’

 

Alan Shearer: ‘England can go all the way’ 

The Premier League’s record goal-scorer believes England will finally end their 58-year wait for a major trophy by lifting the Euros at this summer’s tournament.

Shearer says the Three Lions ‘can go all the way’ and expects a difficult battle with France in the final. 

England reached the final of Euro 2020 and nearly won the crown, but for a heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat against Italy at Wembley. 

Alan Shearer believes England can 'go all the way' despite a ropey build-up to the tournament

Alan Shearer believes England can ‘go all the way’ despite a ropey build-up to the tournament

He told BBC Sport: ‘England can go all the way. This is the greatest chance we’ve had in a long time. 

‘If it’s not going to be England, then I would have to go with France. With some of the talent and experience they have, they will be really really tough to beat.’

 

Ally McCoist: ‘I disagree!’ 

McCoist does not agree that England will win Euro 2024, claiming the team’s lack of tournament-winning experience will prove costly in the end.

While conceding Southgate’s men are ‘one of the favourites’, he thinks France will have the edge of England just like they did in the 2022 World Cup quarter-final in Qatar.

‘Disagree,’ he said to TNT Sports at the prospect of England winning the tournament. ‘100 per cent they should be one of the favourites to win Euro 2024, but I would not have them above France. 

Ally McCoist does not agree that England will win Euro 2024, tipping France as his favourites

Ally McCoist does not agree that England will win Euro 2024, tipping France as his favourites

Harry Kane looks to the sky after missing a huge penalty against France at the 2022 World Cup

Harry Kane looks to the sky after missing a huge penalty against France at the 2022 World Cup

‘I think France have already beaten them in the World Cup recently. It’s a flip of the coin between the two sides to be brutally honest.

‘I think France have won tournaments more recently than England, I’m not sure England know how to finally win a tournament since 1966. I totally understand and get that this is one of the best squads in a long time but I would say France deserve favouritism before England.’

 

Jose Mourinho: ‘Italy as European Champions? I don’t believe that…’ 

The new Fenerbahce manager agrees with his fellow pundits that England and France — along with Portugal and Germany — are the favourites to win the Euros. 

But Mourinho predicts that Italy will struggle in their attempt to defend their Euro 2020 crown, insisting that the nation simply does not have enough talent.

His cutting remark comes despite Nicolo Barella, Federico Dimarco and Alessandro Bastoni leading Inter to a huge Serie A triumph last season. But the Italians do sit in a difficult group alongside Spain, Croatia and Albania.

Jose Mourinho does not fancy Italy's chances and feels they will struggle due to a lack of talent

Jose Mourinho does not fancy Italy’s chances and feels they will struggle due to a lack of talent

Italy defeated England in the Euro 2020 final and head to Germany as reigning champions

Italy defeated England in the Euro 2020 final and head to Germany as reigning champions

He told RTP Sport: ‘I am convinced that practically everyone thinks like me. Portugal, England, France, followed by Germany and Spain. 

‘But Italy as European champions? I don’t believe that. Why can’t Italy defend their European title? ‘I don’t think they have enough talent to win the tournament, they won the last European Championship, but I don’t think they’ll do it again.’

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