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Euro 2024: Our writers’ predictions for the tournament

Euro 2024 is here and as ever when a major tournament comes around, our writers have attempted to predict the outcome of events to come.

Pre-tournament predictions can (and often do) make us look foolish but here’s hoping the crystal balls are in working order.

Euro 2024 – Our writers’ predictions for the tournament:

Who will win Euro 2024?

Harry Diamond: Up until recently, I was all aboard England ending 58 years of hurt. However, vulnerabilities defensively and a lack of balance in midfield means I’ve rapidly shifted away from that stance. France vs Portugal in the final is my prediction in a rematch of the 2016 decider. I’ll back Les Bleus to exact their revenge.

Ste McGovern: England have the most stacked squad, Portugal similarly boast ridiculous depth, and Germany will vault themselves into contention as the hosts. But I can’t look past France, whose top-level talent is insane.

Vishnu Anandraj: Portugal.

Ryan Kelly: Having tipped them as a value pick here, I’ll stick with Portugal. Based on the draw I think it’s going to be a repeat of the Euro 2016 final with Ronaldo & Co blunting France again.

Player of the Tournament:

Harry: Kylian Mbappe. An obvious, perhaps tedious, prediction but if France are to win Euro 2024 he’s going to play the role of leading man.

Ste: If Les Bleus do win the whole thing then Kylian Mbappe would likely be the obvious choice for Player of the Tournament. But I’m going to back Toni Kroos to go out with a bang and pick up one final award before he heads off into the sunset.

Vishnu: Kylian Mbappe. After a Golden Boot-winning World Cup 18 months ago, the France captain is primed for another big tournament.

Ryan: Bruno Fernandes. This award by default goes to a player from the winning country so seeing as though I’m siding with Portugal – it’s either Bruno Fernandes, Ronaldo or Bernardo Silva’s to lose, right? I’ll pluck for Fernandes as I’m expecting him to leave a serious mark on the tournament from an assists/goals point of view.

Young Player of the Tournament

Harry: If Florian Wirtz had produced the season he just has for one of Europe’s giants, he’d be in the Ballon d’Or conversation. Back to his brilliant best after an ACL injury, he’ll build on a stunning season at Leverkusen with a strong tournament for host nation Germany.

Ste: Always a hard one to call when there isn’t a standout youngster on the verge of stardom, like Wayne Rooney at Euro 2004 or Neymar at the 2014 World Cup. Jude Bellingham perhaps, but it’s a pick so obvious that it feels like cheating, so I’ll plump for Germany’s Jamal Musiala.

Vishnu: Joao Neves. Europe’s top clubs are queuing up to sign the Benfica teenager, who won’t be allowed to leave for less than his €120m release clause.

Ryan: Lamine Yamal. At such a young age both his club and country are already relying on his brilliance. A future Ballon d’Or winner in the making; if Spain are to progress deep into the tournament Yamal will likely be pulling them along the way.

Wayne Rooney at Euro 2004: A precocious phenomenon

Golden Boot winner

Harry: Mbappe, again. Just two players have won the Golden Boot at a World Cup and a European Championship. I’m backing Mbappe to make it a hat-trick.

Ste: Plenty of contenders, but Harry Kane will penalty kick his way to the Golden Boot.

Vishnu: Harry Kane.

Ryan: Romelu Lukaku. Tipped up again as a value punt, I can’t now back against Big Rom pilling them in to be a serious contender for this. His record at international level speaks for itself and he’ll be keen to impress potential suitors to land a permanent move from Chelsea.

Ranking the five favourites to win the Euro 2024 Golden Boot

Surprise package

Harry: A thoroughly exciting cast of creatives means I’m tempted to say Turkey but The Crescent-Stars have let me down when backed as a dark horse before. Ukraine are packed full of talent, while the scars from Hungary’s 4-0 thrashing of England are still fresh enough in the mind. If you throw enough mud and all that…

Ste: I think Ukraine are being underrated heading into the Euros. They don’t have huge depth in their squad but possess some really talented players, such as Artem Dovbyk, Vitaliy Mykolenko and Ruslan Malinovsky. They’ve bloodied the noses of England, Germany and Italy over the past year, and could find a route to the quarter-finals. Hungary have a good shot at reaching the knockouts as well.

Vishnu: Austria.

Ryan: Austria. Ralf Rangnick’s spell at United will probably be remembered for the “open heart surgery” quote regarding their squad, but such prophecy has proven to be true. He’s since gone away and built a very shrewd Austrian side that I think will make a decent fist of things up until a quarter-final exit.

Biggest disappointment

Harry: Italy. The European champions failed to qualify for the World Cup 18 months ago and didn’t look particularly impressive in qualification for Euro 2024, losing home and away to England. In the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’, it could be an early exit for the Azzurri.

Ste: After missing out on the 2022 World Cup, expectations aren’t particularly high when it comes to Italy; even if they are the defending champions. Their squad lacks quality and there is reportedly turmoil behind the scenes. Then again, the Azzurri tend to perform best during times of crisis.

Vishnu: Italy. Shock winners three summers ago, it would be an even bigger surprise if the Italians defended their crown.

Ryan: When things don’t pan out for England there’s a media tendency (wrongly) to pin it all on one man. Just in the last week, we’ve seen Kobbie Mainoo slander; so one or two below-par performances and it’s Jude who will sadly be the fall guy and the country’s “biggest disappointment”.

One to watch

Harry: I’m fascinated to see how Artem Dovbyk performs. La Liga’s leading scorer last season, becoming the first non-Real Madrid or Barcelona player to achieve that feat in 15 years, he will spearhead Ukraine’s challenge. An already competitive race to sign him could heat up with a strong tournament.

Ste: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is a ridiculously fun player to watch and will be the star man for Georgia at Euro 2024. It’s going to be the Summer of Kvaradona.

Vishnu: Tijjani Reijnders. The Netherlands have been rocked by pre-tournament injuries to Frenkie de Jong and Ten Koopmeiners. There’s a vacancy in midfield and Reijnders could fill it.

Ryan: Joao Neves. He’ll probably be limited to cameos off the bench but just make sure your TV is ON when he steps on the pitch. The lad is a pure joy to watch so sit back and enjoy – even if it’s likely to be fleeting this summer.

Read – Euro 2024: Five under-the-radar players to watch this summer

See more – The top scorers in European Championship history

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