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The Debate: Will England win the Euros?

The Euros are just around the corner and England are the favourites to get their hands on a first piece of silverware since 1966.

The Three Lions head the betting at 3/1 as they look to avenge their final heartbreak against Italy at Euro 2020.

Gareth Southgate's outfit face stern competition from France (4/1) and hosts Germany (11/2), while the likes of Portugal (8/1) and Spain (8/1) will also be vying for Euro glory.

Will England win Euro 2024?

Members of the bet365 Sports & Betting News team discuss.

Euro 2024

England have the best squad in Europe and will never have a better opportunity to win a major tournament.

The European Golden Shoe winner in Harry Kane, the Premier League Player of the Season in Phil Foden, the La Liga Player of the Year and Champions League winner is Jude Bellingham.

Throw in three more of Manchester City’s Treble winners of 2023 alongside Foden - Kyle Walker, John Stones and Jack Grealish – as well as two cornerstones of a superb Arsenal team in Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka, and you are still only scratching the surface of one of the finest generations of English footballing talent of all time.

Crucially for England, aside from doubts over the availability of Luke Shaw, there will be no key injury absentees in Germany. Almost all of the pieces are in place with the vast majority of the squad in their peak years.

This current England team have been compared to the ‘Golden Generation’ of the mid-2000s – which included household names such as John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney just to name a few.

Even if you believe Southgate’s current squad to be inferior to this previous team overseen by Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson, there is one notable difference across the two eras – the competition across the continent is not nearly as strong.

The 2000s saw the rise of arguably the greatest international team of all time as Spain ended up conquering all before them, 2006 World Cup winners Italy possessed all-time greats in the form of Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro and Andrea Pirlo, whilst Euro 2024 hosts Germany had a formidable core featuring Philipp Lahm, Michael Ballack and Miroslav Klose.

Even France - the only squad to rival England’s in terms of quality this summer – were a more well-rounded side when they reached the 2006 World Cup final, with Lilian Thuram at the back, Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira in midfield and the great Zinedine Zidane supplying Thierry Henry in attack.

None of European heavyweights Spain, Italy, Germany or the Netherlands can credibly claim to currently possess a squad closely comparable in strength to the previous two decades.

The three UEFA top 10 nations that conceivably could are England, France and Portugal.

Didier Deschamps’ France, runners-up at the World Cup two years ago, are widely regarded as the biggest threat to England’s Euros hopes – and for good reason with a talent-laden squad led by the sensational Kylian Mbappe.

However, a closer examination of Les Bleus’ likely starting XI in Germany and a number of question marks quickly arise.

Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann are still France’s premier attacking options, and despite remaining elite players, they have a combined age of 70.

The other typical starter in France’s front four spearheaded by Mbappe is his former Paris Saint-Germain teammate Ousmane Dembele, who has tellingly failed to score a single goal in 13 appearances at a major finals.

Portugal could be primed to do well, but with talisman Cristiano Ronaldo now aged 39 and Robert Martinez’s side having only progressed past the round of 16 once in the last three major finals, their recent tournament pedigree doesn’t stack up against England’s.

The Three Lions’ last three major tournament outings have seen them reach the semi-finals, final and quarter-finals. It’s time for England to take the final step and go all the way.

England are favourites to win the Euros for a reason – they have the best team and it’s time for them to deliver.

England have all the talent but defensive frailties may undermine them…

It’s that time again. Excitement is palpable, optimism heightened and there’s a growing belief that this will finally be England’s year.

The market indicates that the Three Lions are the favourites for Euro 2024 and the immense talent within the squad justifies their favouritism.

But if you delve beyond the delightful array of attacking flair and creativity, there is a vulnerable defensive unit that fails to instil much confidence.

Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and John Stones feel the only certainties to start. Who will partner Stones is an interesting dilemma, with the divisive Harry Maguire currently injured, while both Marc Guehi and Lewis Dunk were fairly unconvincing in the warm-up friendly against Bosnia.

Then there is the left-back situation. Luke Shaw is currently included in the provisional squad and the earliest he’s likely to be available is the knockout stages. Kieran Trippier appears to be Gareth Southgate’s preferred option to deputise in the role but the Newcastle United full back has endured an error-strewn campaign.

You look at the winners of recent European Championships and their success was built on strong defensive foundations.

Italy boasted the impenetrable partnership of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. Portugal, for as tedious as they were to watch in 2016, kept four clean sheets in seven matches as they stifled France’s attacking talent in the final. Spain were the imperious Spain and Greece didn’t concede a goal in the knockout stages of Euro 2004.

England are very much capable of winning this tournament but when the going gets tough in the latter stages, a more durable defensive unit is likely to prevail.

On home soil, Germany are contenders but their preparations continue to be blighted by disharmony in the camp. Portugal flaunt a strong squad but there are question marks on whether Roberto Martinez’s tactical acumen can elevate them to the next level.

Spain? Not as strong as previous. Netherlands, Italy or Belgium? Not for me.

I ultimately think France will be the team to come out on top.

Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps has the pleasure (or headache, whatever your outlook) of wading through a plethora of top centre back talent. That William Saliba is unlikely to start for France speaks volumes.

Their assembly of attacking talent will always take the headlines but the truth is, they have depth in all areas of the pitch. Deschamps also has his tried and trusted at his disposal for the upcoming tournament.

Kylian Mbappe is the obvious match-winner and he will head to Germany buoyed by the outcome of his dream switch to Real Madrid. Antoine Griezmann tends to dazzle in a major tournament, with the Atletico Madrid forward delivering 18 goal involvements since Euro 2016, a tally superior to any other European player.

The goalkeeping department is perhaps less convincing than England’s, but their midfield options are just as impressive with Real Madrid pair Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni expected to dictate in the middle of the park.

The likelihood is that if England and France both progress as planned, the pair will meet in Dortmund in the semi-finals on July 10.

It would be a fixture befitting of a grand finale at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. The winner of that – should it happen – will likely go on to be crowned European champions; don’t come crying to me when England suffer the same heartache that they did on that disappointing evening in Al Khor 18 months ago.

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