Euro 2024: Is the trophy finally coming home?

All eyes are on Gareth Southgate and the Three Lions after their tragic end to Euro 2020, particularly as England are among the favourites to win the tournament, and with every single game broadcast by either ITV or BBC, you needn’t miss a second of this summer’s tournament – no matter which team you’re cheering on.

The group stages – which sees England pitted against Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia, and Scotland matched with Hungary, Switzerland and hosts Germany – will make way for the knockout stages and hopefully a place for one of the Home Nations in the final in Berlin on July 14.

ITV’s coverage will be presented by Laura Woods and she said it could be one of three teams who walk away with the Henri Delaunay Trophy: “My favourites are England and France – Germany I think will also be pretty strong. I think (with) England, I feel like the last two or three tournaments we’ve gone into it saying: ‘Oh my god, we’ve got a lot of talent’, especially the last two, and I think we are overflowing with it.

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"So, if England do not get to the latter stages at least, I will be thoroughly disappointed and I think it’d be a huge let-down. I really do think they can go and win it. But France, with the knowhow, with Kylian Mbappe, even though they didn’t win the World Cup this time around, I think just the experience of doing it before and then getting to another final, I just think they get so much knowhow from that.”

Pictured: Laura Woods. ITVPictured: Laura Woods. ITV
Pictured: Laura Woods. ITV

Woods will be joined in Germany by a stellar cast of pundits including Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Ian Wright. All three have strong opinions whatever the topic but are generally in agreement with their host when it comes to the winners.

Neville, who was part of the same team as England boss Gareth Southgate during the 1996 Euros, said: “I think the team that will win Euro 24 will be England because it’s about bloody time! I’m sick of going to tournaments as a player, as a coach and as a fan working in the media where we don’t get over the line.

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"I do feel that we’ve got some amazing players that are revered around Europe, that are producing in the Bundesliga, in the Premier League and in La Liga at the highest level, and we carry an aura that we’ve not previously carried.

Pictured: (L-R) Graeme Souness, Roy Keane, Eni Aluko, Mark Pougatch, Laura Woods, Ian Wright, Karen Carney and Gary Neville. ITV.Pictured: (L-R) Graeme Souness, Roy Keane, Eni Aluko, Mark Pougatch, Laura Woods, Ian Wright, Karen Carney and Gary Neville. ITV.
Pictured: (L-R) Graeme Souness, Roy Keane, Eni Aluko, Mark Pougatch, Laura Woods, Ian Wright, Karen Carney and Gary Neville. ITV.

Keane though has a slightly different take: “I hate betting against France, I think England have a very good chance, but if you asked me today: home advantage, Germany. They’ve picked up recently, their home form, their first game, I think the group doesn’t look too bad in terms of getting momentum and belief into the group. They still probably lack that Kane or Mbappe, a world-class attacking player and maybe that might [mean they] come up short… If they can get momentum, home advantage, the results have picked up lately. Momentum is huge in sport. Yeah, I’ll tip Germany. Why not?

"I think at some point England have to get over that line. Hopefully they’ll take maybe more gambles in these knockout games, be a bit braver, show more courage than maybe they have done previously.”

For Scotland the hopes are less high than England. Qualifying for the Euros for the second time in a row after having previously not appeared at the Championships since 1996 a place in the knock-out stages would perhaps be a success for Steve Clarke’s team.

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“Scotland’s first realistic aim will be to get out of the group,” said former England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright. “In McGinn and McTominay, they have goals from midfield. Gilmour can provide control and vision from midfield. Robertson and Tierney both coming into their prime too. Will need to cut out silly errors though.

“(For England), semi-finals or bust – anything less will be a disappointment – and they have a genuine shot at the trophy. England should not struggle for goals or creativity. The issues, if any, will come at the back.”

Keane added: “I think it will be tough for Scotland. They’ve lost a little bit of momentum themselves lately, you know when they get over there it will be the usual stuff. You want to be hard to beat. I think they’ll do well to even get out of the group.”

Second only to the World Cup in terms of quality and star power the Euros are set to pit some of the best players on the planet against each other.

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Neville picks two Englishmen as ones he wants to watch most. He said: “Jude Bellingham or Phil Foden. I’m hoping they’re going to both play centrally and tear other teams to shreds with their ability, their skill, their speed, their enthusiasm, and their work ethic. They are complete packages.”

And Woods agrees, saying: “It might sound a little bit biased, but I’m English, so what the hell – I cannot wait to see Jude Bellingham on a big stage like that. I can’t wait to see it. And I think that this season he has just exploded on that stage and just become this absolute juggernaut of a player in a juggernaut of a team. And I think he’s really poised for that… I think he will take everything that he’s learned at Real Madrid this season to England.

“Kobbie Mainoo, as well, is another one that I’m really looking forward to seeing because he’s just this young kid who has suddenly, in a similar way, absolutely exploded onto the scene and I think he looks so comfortable in what he’s doing.”

For Wright, he is excited about seeing some of the players who may not be as familiar to the domestic audience in the UK. He said: “Florian Wirtz (Germany) has been wonderful, as Bayer Leverkusen won the Bundesliga. A player of real guile and craft operating across the attacking midfield line. Spanish teenager Lamine Yamal is a tricky 1v1 winger with amazing control and dribbling ability. Benjamin Sesko (Slovenia) is a brilliant young forward. He’s physical, great in the air but also tidy with the ball at his feet.”

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