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        Playmaker's Euro 2024 predictions...

        2024/06/14 16:24
        E4

        Now's the time to finalise your Euro 2024 Fantasy Team and draw Albania in the office sweepstake and with the opening clash of the tournament nearly upon us, Playmaker have taken the plunge and made a raft of predictions regarding how this summer's showpiece will pan out. 

        The team is a man down with our football writer Richard Cole currently benched (aka on holiday), but the remaining Playmaker quartet have boldly leapt off the fence and jotted down their opinions regarding a host of Euro 2024 unknowns, including who they think will be crowned European champions. 

        Let's start off with the (very likely erroneous!) views of yours truly...


        Stephen Gillett (Football writer & Mighty Delta fanzine editor)

        Winner: Spain | Dan, Alex and I discussed the likely winners of the tournament in our recent podcast, and as you might expect we all felt it was pretty tough to call. As much as I'd like England to emerge victorious, it feels to me like Gareth Southgate's side need to reinvent themselves a bit if they are to win the thing...and I'm not sure they can despite the manager's attempts to freshen up the squad. I have a weird sense that none of the teams with the shortest odds - England, France or Germany - will lift the trophy. I have a hunch it could be Spain's year. 

        Dark horse: Austria | Obviously choosing any team as a 'dark horse' automatically gives them the kiss of death, but I will go for Austria. After chatting with Austrian football specialist Anna Konovalova for our Euro 2024 Guide, I'm now viewing Das Team in a totally different light. Anna was effusive in her praise for Ralf Rangnick and the exciting, fast-paced brand of football Austria are playing. I won't back them to go really deep in the tournament...but they could surprise a few people. 

        Flop: France | Basically if Les Bleus (or England for that matter!) don't win it, they will be seen to have flopped and I reckon Didier Deschamps' team will slip up somewhere along the line. Deschamps will likely have decisions to make regarding whether he sticks with his 'old guard' or bloods some of France's fantastic young talent, and my sense is they won't quite get the balance right. 

        Golden Boot: Ronaldo
        Player of the Tournament: Rodri
        Young Player of the Tournament: Jude Bellingham
        Golden Glove: Diogo Costa


        Dan Oliveira (Data specialist + Playmaker content)

        Winner: Portugal | They're not the big favourites, but I genuinely think (and believe) that Portugal will have a very good tournament and hopefully will clinch the title on July 14. This Portuguese generation is miles better than any other generation the nation has ever had. That doesn't mean everything, of course, but the warm-up friendlies gave me a sense that the squad is ready for whatever hurdles may come their way.

        Dark horse: Turkey | In the last two Euros, they didn't progress through to the group stages, but this time they definitely have what it takes to advance. They have a very underrated squad that can cause damage against any nation in the competition. Plus, just a reminder that they will almost play at home thanks to the big Turkish-German community, and we know how loud they are.

        Flop: England | Unless there is a massive change in their way of playing, I doubt they will go far in the competition. The March friendlies and the last warm-up friendly against Iceland showed that the English team are very predictable. Despite having one of the strongest squads, I can't see them lifting the title, even though many bookmakers put them as one of the favourites.

        Golden Boot: Kylian Mbappe
        Player of the Tournament: Bruno Fernandes
        Young Player of the Tournament: Florian Wirtz
        Golden Glove: Diogo Costa


        Alex Lawes (EFL and European football writer)

        Winner: Germany | Between 2002 and 2016, Die Mannschaft played at eight major tournaments and reached at least the semi-finals on seven occasions. Since then, they have not won a knockout match at a tournament and have entered into the international wilderness (sort of… well, not really). After sacking Hansi Flick in the autumn, they replaced him with arguably the best manager at this tournament, Julian Nagelsmann, and began to rediscover their groove in the spring. At home with a collection of stars that all went deep into this season’s UEFA competitions and a Toni Kroos already enjoying a fairytale swansong, it almost feels inevitable this is where they relaunch the German national team on the biggest stage.

        Dark horse: Hungary | Ste nicked Austria so I’ll go for the other half of the one-time Dual Monarchy and say the Hungarians. Coached by Italian relationist tactician Marco Rossi since 2018, the Magyars are settled and head into the tournament with one defeat in their last 16 matches with a solid shape and system that springs into life and unpredictable fun in attack, led by captain Dominik Szoboszlai. They could be ones to watch in Group A.

        Flop: England | Group C is deceptively tough. England head into an opening match against the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic with a lot of question marks over their back four and those that will shield. They then face Denmark, who reached the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2020, and could need a win to go through against a Jan Oblak-led Slovenia with one of the most in-form strikers in Europe, Benjamin Sesko, leading the line. If they do get through then second place means they likely face Germany in the Round of 16.

        Golden Boot: Romelu Lukaku
        Player of the Tournament: Jamal Musiala
        Young Player of the Tournament: Xavi Simons
        Golden Glove: Bart Verbruggen


        Tiago Cardoso (Data specialist and Playmaker content)

        Winner: Belgium | Their Golden Generation may have won nothing, but as the Red Devils bridge to their 'Next Gen', I think they can pull off a big surprise now that the pressure is off. They have a nice blend of experienced heads and exciting young talent, and I believe Kevin De Bruyne will remind Europe of what a world class player he is. 

        Dark horse: Belgium | See above!

        Flop: Spain | All the problems they have inside their federation at the moment will be exacerbated by a poor performance at these Euros, in my opinion. I don't think their squad is as good as others in the tournament and think they will be the European superpower that scuttles home with its tail between its legs. 

        Golden Boot: Harry Kane
        Player of the Tournament: Kevin De Bruyne
        Young Player of the Tournament: Jude Bellingham
        Golden Glove: Koen Casteels


         




        Comments

        Would you like to comment? Just register!!
        motivo:
        OM
        2024-06-14 18h03m by omitchellsonjones
        After much debate, I finally settled on Spain as my pick. They may not have the most star-studded team, but


        Great article, can't wait for Euro 2024! My pick for the winner is Spain, they may not have the biggest names but I have a feeling they'll surprise us all.
        2024-06-14 17h57m by eyoungs8
        In the end, however, it was a case of sticking with what we know and for me, that means backing Spain.


        As a football fan, I totally agree with Stephen Gillett's prediction of Spain winning Euro 2024. They have a strong history in international tournaments and always play with passion and precision. Despite the competition being tough, I believe Spain has what it takes to come out on top.
        SP
        2024-06-14 17h41m by sparkerfield
        However, in a tournament that is often full of surprises, I have gone for Spain.




        @FootballF anatic: Can't believe you've picked Spain as the winners, they've been so underwhelming in recent tournaments. Have you forgotten about teams like France or Germany
        2024-06-14 16h57m by banderson1976
        However, for me, Spain stand out as the favourites.

        As a football fan reading an article on Twitter, I have to say, I completely agree and I am rooting for Spain to win Euro 2024. Their style of play is always exciting to watch and they have a strong team. Can't wait for the tournament to start!

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