Euro 2020 Bold Predictions - Winners, losers, England’s chances and star performers

Euro 2020 is upon us. But who will win it, who will take the tournament by storm and who will surprise us? Here a selection of The Yorkshire Post’s make their choices.

Cast your eye through the predictions of our sports team below and see whether you agree. Stick your own thoughts in the comments section below.

STUART RAYNER – Who will win the tournament? France: The best group of players showed in winning the last World Cup they have the necessary mentality too. If the decision to recall Karim Benzema from exile does not upset morale France will have the ingredient they were most keenly missing and not too many Premier League players should help with freshness.

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How far will England get? Quarter-finals: England have a squad full of flair but the worry is conservative tactics and fatigue restricts it. The thought of a half-fit Harry Maguire or Jordan Henderson being exposed is another concern. Their last 16 looks tough but reach their potential and they can win the tournament. I am staying pessimistic so as not to get my hopes up.

Bold prediction – Germany not to make the knockouts: With some third-placed teams qualifying, this should be difficult even from the group of death, but Germany have badly lost their way since the 2017 Confederations Cup and staying loyal to their World Cup-winning manager has not worked out well so far. I also do not expect the world No 1-ranked Belgium to make the semi-finals.

Player of the tournament – Paul Pogba: A contender for the previous category but this tournament might be about the balance between those who have played too little (Jordan Henderson and co), and those with too much competitive football this season (plenty of his team-mates). This big-game player happiest in the international environment could fall in the sweet spot and has Ngolo Kante to do his running.

LEON WOBSCHALL – Who will win the tournament? It’s difficult to see past France, whose squad looks as delectable as a Tuna Nicoise in the June sun. They have a cause after losing the last finals on home soil, possess the squad to fully utilise the five substitutes rule and a tough group stage should condition them nicely. Finish above France and there’s a good chance you will win it.

How far will England get? Quarter-finals/last 16. Given England’s record in knock-out games and defensive issues, it is difficult to see them getting past one of the big boys. Given the criticism they have had, let’s hope they can develop a siege mentality, it has served England well enough before. The togetherness is good.

Can England triumph at Euro 2020? Picture: Scott Heppell/PA

Bold prediction – Germany to reach the final. Yes, it is one of the most average German sides in years, but only a fool would discount them. They very rarely have two poor tournaments in a row and there is usually one side who tough it out to get to the final. Do not be surprised if they meet France in the showpiece following a group opener.

Player of the tournament – Thomas Muller. Form is temporary, class is permanent. Part of a Die Mannschaft squad who were hurt and embarrassed in Russia and then later dropped from the squad, he will be driven to make amends. At nearly 32, this is likely to be his hurrah with Germany.

ROBERT GLEDHILL – Who will win the tournament? Group F will be highly fancied to provide the European Championship winners and the vote here goes to France. Didier Deschamps’ World Cup winners are looking to complete the double and will certainly be battle-hardened for the final stages after group games against holders Portugal and three times winners Germany, led for the last time by Joachim Low. One has to feel sorry for the other team in the group, Hungary.

How far will England get? – Football’s coming home especially for the Wembley semi-finals (July 6-7) and final (July 11) so it would be foolish to write off the chances of Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions. Should definitely progress from a group containing Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic and after that anything can happen. Prediction: Finalists

STAR MAN? Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne, right. Picture: Michael Regan/NMC Pool/PA

Bold prediction – They say lightning doesn’t strike twice but don’t tell anyone in the Wales camp. Caretaker coach Rob Page should have Gareth Bale firing on all cylinders after a truncated Premier League season and the shock semi-finalists from France five years ago will be aiming for a same again feat.

Player of the tournament – Kylian Mbappe: A striker who can play anywhere across the frontline, he will be the main reason why World Cup winners France will have hopes of completing a double. The 22-year-old is close to a goal-a-game for Paris St Germain and can be the star of the tournament.

RICHARD HERCOCK – Who will win the tournament? – England will never have a better chance to win a major tournament, with most of their games taking place on home turf. The only fear is England rely too heavily on Harry Kane’s goals, so will need others to chip in.

How far will England get? I think Gareth Southgate’s side can go all the way to the final, and with a slice of luck (and avoid penalty shootouts) can even win the tournament. Memories of Euro 96 come flooding back...

STAR MAN? Germany's Thomas Muller remains a class act. Picture: AP/Andreas Schaad

Bold prediction – Maybe the June sun has gone to my head, but I am tipping Scotland - who look solid in defence/midfield - to emerge from the group stages with England. They will have to finish above both Croatia and Czech Republic, but who tipped Wales to reach the semi-finals in Euro 2016?

Player of the tournament – All the headlines are about Phil Foden, but Harry Kane is England’s leader and can deliver the goals to win the Golden Boot, just like he did at the 2018 World Cup when he bagged six goals.

RICHARD BYRAM – Who will win the tournament? Italy and Belgium were the qualification form horses both winning all ten matches, but they only have one tournament win between them (Italy, 1968). Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini’s Azzuri are unbeaten in 25 games and can make it two titles after being drawn in a favourable group.

How far will England get? I got a headache trying to follow the draw permutations but it didn’t look - on paper - like we’d get past the quarter-finals. Finishing second in Group D would help us avoid the runners-up in Group of Death F – France, Germany or holders Portugal – but it still looks a fraught route.

Bold prediction – If England need to finish second to avoid the Group F big guns - then we need a group winner. How about ‘Auld Enemy’ Scotland to finally come good at a major tournament, by beating Croatia, the Czech Republic, drawing with us and topping the group?

Player of the tournament – England’s Phil Foden and Harry Kane have a chance if we do go deep. But France’s in-form striker Karim Benzema has been ignored for six years mainly due to his “very colourful back story”. But it is usually situations like these which lead to a player enjoying a headline-grabbing tournament, redemption and the golden boot.

STAR MAN? France's Paul Pogba. Picture: AP/Daniel Cole

BEN MCKENNA – Who will win the tournament? France: It is hard to look past the world champions with them possessing an abundance of quality in all areas of the pitch. The return of Benzema will give Didier Deschamps’ side one of the most potent attacks at the tournament as he is set to be partnered by Kylian Mbappé with Antoine Griezmann playing just in behind.

How far will England get? Round of 16: This prediction hinges on the fitness of Harry Maguire. England have some of the best forwards at Euro 2020 but if they win their group they are likely to face France, Germany or Portugal in the Round of 16 and I believe those sides will have too much for a weakened England defence.

Bold prediction – Scotland will reach the quarter-finals: Scotland have a good chance of finishing second in their group below England, leaving them to play the runners-up in Group E, which consists of Spain, Sweden, Poland and Slovakia. Steve Clarke’s men have plenty of strong players in their ranks and play two of their three group games on home soil.

Player of the tournament – N’Golo Kante: The Chelsea midfielder has been at the heart of his club’s resurgence under Thomas Tuchel. He was influential as France were crowned World Cup winners in Russia in 2018 and was named man of the match in last month’s Champions League final. I expect him to play another key role for Les Bleus in this tournament.

NICK WESTBY – Who will win the tournament? I think this is the tournament when Belgium finally come good. Quarter-finalists in 2016, semi-finalists at the last World Cup, an abundance of attacking talent will see them take the next step. I also like Italy. There will be a lot of unfamiliar faces in Roberto Mancini’s team but it’s the Italians, and they know how to perform in a tournament.

How far will England get? – The draw has not been kind and too many of Gareth Southgate’s players were involved in major European club finals only two weeks ago. They come in to the tournament under-cooked, with bags of potential but not enough for the here and now. Quarter-finals if they can manage not to win the group, but Round of 16 if they win Group D and then face France, Germany or Portugal.

Bold prediction – I think a team from the old Eastern Bloc will make the semi-finals and with the goals of Robert Lewandowski, I think Poland is that team. Their group isn’t the toughest, I even fancy them to topple Spain who look in a bit of a mess.

Player of the tournament – If Belgium are going to win it then I have to pick one of their players. That, for me, comes down to either the artistry of Kevin De Bruyne or the goalscoring prowess of Romelu Lukaku. I’m going give it to De Bruyne, just.