The Scout: Euro 2024 Preview

Euro 2024 Preview

The European Championships get underway in Germany this week; a month of top-level international football with plenty of contenders to take out the trophy on July 14. Among the favourites are the host nation who get things underway against Scotland. Retiring star midfielder Toni Kroos will be keen to bow out on a high, and two exciting players to watch are youngsters Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz.

As well as Germany, England and France are both expected to go deep into the tournament given their impressive squad depth and genuine match winners available. The likes of Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane are coming off impressive seasons at club level and will make England hard to stop, while French talisman Kylian Mbappe is joined by Antoine Griezmann, Kingsley Coman, and Ousmane Dembele, amongst others.

At the ripe old age of 39, Cristiano Ronaldo remains a key figure for Portugal, and his supporting cast of Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Rafael Leao, Joao Felix, and Diogo Jota is up there with the best. The 2016 winners should comfortably make it to the knockout stage from a group that also includes Turkey, Czech Republic, and first-time participants, Georgia.

Defending Champions Italy are coming off a very mixed period having taken out Euro 2022 in England while failing to qualify for the World Cup either side. The Netherlands are another side with a big pedigree, but the playing group is far below those of yesteryear. Spain were impressive in qualifying, winning seven out of eight games. They are in the proverbial Group of Death with Italy, Croatia, and Albania but with the possibility of three teams progressing, they should go through.

Of the rest, the last remaining members of Belgium’s Golden Generation are clinging on for dear life and on their day are a match for anybody. Slovakia, Romania, and Ukraine will all fancy their chances of making it out of the same group. As has been the case for more than a decade, Poland will rely on the goals of Robert Lewandowski, while Serbia are well equipped to make a push for a spot in the last 16 with the talent at their disposal.

Depending on the draw, France, England, Germany, and Portugal should all be in contention for semi-final spots at least. France will be eager to taste success following their narrow World Cup Final loss to Argentina in 2022 and are the team to beat.

Winner – France

Top Scorer – Kylian Mbappe

Most Assists – Phil Foden

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