Euro 2020 pre-tournament pundit predictions
France were the favourites going into the Euros but it’s Italy and England in the final
Who will win Euro 2020?
Roy Keane, ITV - Italy: “There is no doubt that France are the team to beat but the team I’m going with, and I just have a sneaky feeling for them, is Italy. Obviously there are some brilliant teams in the tournament but I just think Italy, I look at their form for the last year or two, and we obviously know they’re capable of turning up for the big tournaments. I just have a feeling they’re going to have a brilliant tournament, so Italy.”
Gary Neville, ITV - England: “I’m going to go with England - I don’t know why - but I’m going to go with England because of the home tournament [aspect]. I think we will go a step further than the last World Cup where we got to the semi-finals, I just think the momentum is with us. I do think we need to get Harry Maguire fit, keep Harry Kane fit, and then ultimately have a little bit of good luck, and I think we can do it once and for all. Gareth Southgate is a brilliant manager for England, he knows how the best out of these players, and he knows how to win.”
Mark Pougatch, ITV - France: “I think France will win it, I think obviously they’ve got the experience because they are the world champions, they’ve got a system that they all understand, they all play really well in. They have got so many good central defenders to choose from it’s almost ridiculous. If they can have the Russian Pogba, then that’s massive for them, and they have now decided they are going to pick Benzema again, so Benzema, Mbappe, Griezmann with [Olivier] Giroud as a backup is just phenomenal and I just think they’re going to do exactly what they did 20 years ago when they won in 1998 and 2000. For me they are absolutely the team to beat.”
James Andrew, editor, FourFourTwo - France: “Hugo Lloris, Raphael Varane, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe is not a bad spine to have. Plus in manager Didier Dechamps they have a manager who knows what it takes to hold two of the biggest prizes in football at the same time. Portugal look a better side than when they won it in 2016, but I think France will be the team to beat.”
Mark White, staff writer, FourFourTwo - Portugal: “The talent they have across that entire squad is absolutely sickening and they’ve won the last two tournaments in Europe - assuming you count the Nations League (which I shall but only for this). When the only problems you have as a team are the squabbles between Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes as to who will take the penalties? Yeah, I think we can safely say they’ve got a good chance.”
Kobe Tong, GiveMeSport - France: “Aren’t I boring? I know, I know, I know. Readers of my last prediction might recall that I backed Belgium to win earlier in the year, but have you seen Didier Deschamps’ final 26-man squad? So, sure, me backing France to go all the way this summer is about as uninventive and cookie-cutter as it gets, but tipping anybody else to win against the world champions is a really tough ask.”
Michael Potts, Radio Times - France: “The strength and depth of this France squad was already off the scale and then they added Karim Benzema back into the fold against the odds, after a lengthy absence from the national team. Kylian Mbappe is primed to become the player of the tournament, Antoine Griezmann is always a threat for France and N’Golo Kante runs the midfield like three separate entities, while Paul Pogba will turn up fit and ready this summer. France’s tournament will be defined in the group stage. If they slip up in a tough group, they could face a tricky knockout path, but they will be the favourites in every match regardless of their opponents.”
Ryan Elliott, Oddschecker - France: “They are rightly the tournament favourites, and with so many proven winners amongst the squad, they’re still the team to beat for me. Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann make up a terrifying front line, while a midfield three of Paul Pogba, Adrien Rabiot and N’Golo Kante is equally as mouth-watering. Match-winners all over the park and no obvious weaknesses - good luck stopping them.”
Who will win the golden boot?
Shambhu Ajith, SportsKeeda - Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): “Ronaldo has repeatedly elevated his game on the big stage. Given the fact that he is approaching the end of his career, there is no doubt that he will give his absolute best in the upcoming tournament. He is also just seven goals away from displacing Iran’s Ali Daei as the top scorer in international football. Euro 2020 could very well be the stage where he dethrones Daei to create history.”
Tom Dutton, Squawka - Romelu Lukaku (Belgium): “Lukaku found his golden touch in front of goal for Inter last season and we expect that to continue at Euro 2020. With service from Kevin De Bruyne and (if fit!) Eden Hazard, a lot of chances will be falling his way. It’s hard to see Divock Origi or Christian Benteke competing for a place in the Red Devils line-up so, crucially, he will likely play every minute of every game. Lukaku was joint-second with Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Denis Cheryshev (four goals) behind England’s Kane (six) in the race for the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot.”
Ryan Elliott, Oddschecker - Romelu Lukaku (Belgium): “The Belgian scored 30 goals in just 44 games in all competitions for Inter last season, and he has a real chance to cash in during the group stages. Denmark are a tough nut to crack, but he could have a field day against Finland and particularly Russia.”