EURO 2024 - Which countries are the tournament favourites to win?

Published on 10 June 2024 at 16:00

Only six days await until Euro 2024 commences at the Fussball arena München, in Germany with the hosts kicking-off their tournament against Scotland on Friday.

It is the first time since 1988, that Germany have hosted a European Championships and the last time they did the Netherlands lifted the trophy.

Which team will etch themselves into the history books this summer; reigning champions Italy, the Three Lions, France or a complete underdog like Euro 2004 when Greece were victorious.


Since lifting the Euro's in 2021, the Azzuri have suffered a torrid decline losing to North Macedonia in the Play-off final to miss their second consecutive World Cup. After securing bronze in the UEFA Nations League, Roberto Mancini, the manager who delivered Italy's first trophy in 15 years resigned and was replaced with Serie A title winner with Napoli Luciano Spalletti.

Their squad is a distant relic to the team who beat England 2-1 in 2021, defensive stalwarts Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have both retired and Spalletti has resorted to an influx of young prospects to re-build his team.

At the forefront of his selection problems was the betting fiasco which saw Sandro Tonali , Nicolo Fagioli and Nicolo Zaniolo all retrospectively banned. Their qualification campaign was a shaky journey with only goal difference separating themselves and Ukraine in the final positionings, but they go into the tournament unbeaten in their last six games.

While they lack the stardom and quality within their squad of France and England, it will be their tactical prowess and defensive strength which could see them triumph this summer. They still have a world-renowned goalkeeper in Gianluigi Donnarumma as well as a solid core in midfield with title winning Inter duo Nicolo Barella and Davide Frattesi.



La Roja have been searching to re-discover their winning formula from the European Championships in 2012, where they have bowed out in the Round of 16 and semi-finals in the last two tournaments.

After suffering a premature World Cup exit to Morocco in Qatar, Luis Enrique resigned which paved the way for exciting U23 coach Luis De La Fuente to re-juvenate this underperforming squad.

The 62 year old has integrated a distinct possession-based philosophy and has made bold decisions dropping legendary centre-back Sergio Ramos and calling-up promising talents who fit his system.

Spain were one of the first teams to qualify for this summer's tournament scoring the third highest number of goals and conceding just three in eight matches.

De La Fuente's impact has given young stars like Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams opportunity to thrive in the team and even though their squad looks on paper void of a superstar their collective support of the manager's system and fluid football makes them one of the favourites at Euro 2024.

They face one of the toughest groups with Italy, Croatia and Albania, and have a license to struggle against physical opposition who play direct football. This Spain team however, have a unified quality about them where they seem prepared and polished which hasn't been their before.



The Red Devils hamartia with their golden generation is transferring their qualifying form into the knock-out stages of a tournament to break the curse and win a first international trophy.

Roberto Martinez reached the cusp of success at the 2018 World Cup achieving bronze, but after a disappointing Round of 16 exit to Portugal in Qatar the former Everton manager resigned ending his five year spell with his home nation.

This has paved the way for a new dawn for the Red Devils, in new manager Domenico Tedesco. Nothing has changed in qualifying Belgium ended unbeaten in their eight matches with talisman Romelu Lukaku topping the scoring charts with 14 goals.

This is their last opportunity to win a trophy with the remnants of this special generation with Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Jan Vertonghen the last left this summer.

It could be this hybrid squad featuring young prodigies like Artur Vermeeren and Johan Bakayoko who have the qualities to deliver in Germany this summer, maybe these players are free from the overwhelming pressure felt by the senior players who know how much their fans want silverware.



It hasn't been the pre-tournament warm-up Gareth Southgate anticipated with England suffering a humiliating 1-0 defeat to Iceland just a week before their tournament begins.

Southgate has made some bold decisions with his squad selection axing high-profile names like Jack Grealish and Harry Maguire and opting to trial youth for a change in Adam Wharton, Kobbie Mainoo and Cole Palmer.

This tournament is potentially his last chance after falling at the final hurdles in his last three tournaments, and England go into it as the main favourites with arguably the strongest squad which boasts depth and versatility.

Southgate has erased the omens of the past which have previously shackled England teams down from progression, and he continues to build this exciting team for the future but it will be in the business end of the tournament when fans will judge his tactical intelligence and decision-making.

The main concern for this new look squad is fluency and cohesion, the backline is relatively new with Luke Shaw and John Stones bringing fitness concerns and even the midfield three are in their infancy of playing together.

England must find a way of getting across the line, even when their playing poorly this is what separates the good teams from the winning teams the mental fortitude and resilience to keep going no matter what.


This will be Didier Deschamps sixth international tournament with Les Bleus, as he looks to win the countries first European Championships since 2000. After heart-break in the World Cup final in 2022 losing on penalties to Argentina in a game decided by fine margins, France once again as always are favourites going into this summers tournament.

They boast a star-studded squad featuring new Real Madrid signing Kylian Mbappe alongside an arsenal of attacking prowess such as Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele.

This summer they will have a re-built defence, following the retirement of Raphael Varane and there is the surprise re-call for former Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante to add solidity in the centre.

They will face the Netherlands once again, after completing the double over them in qualifying where they ended the standings unbeaten. The main weakness which can dampen this star-studded squad is the weight of expectation, they cannot let the pressure of the media unravel their performances.



Julian Naglesmann is the charismatic, exciting young coach Germany needed to re-vitalise their national team for this summer's Euros. The tournament hosts endured a turbulent 2023 suffering four defeats in five games which ended Hansi Flick's tenure in the dug-out.

Despite their lack of competitive preparation, they have impressed in recent friendlies beating France, the Netherlands and most recently Greece. Similar to Italy, Germany are undergoing a transitional re-build and will not go into the tournament front runners, but their is something about playing on home turf and Germany's international reputation which makes them a team to fear.

Naglesmann has gone into the tournament without a recognised number nine, relying on a resurgent Kai Havertz to lead his team with Niclas Fullkrug and Deniz Undav supporting off the bench.

This is a very underwhelming squad, with an array of debutants such as Aleksandar Pavlovic and Maximilian Mittelstaedt, but their is a perfect balance of experience and quality with Toni Kroos returning for a final tournament before retirement and the ever-present Thomas Muller included.

Germany have become a laughing-stock in recent tournaments stuttering in the group stages and bowing out early as a result of a lack of organisation and team cohesion. Maybe with a young experimental coach Naglesmann can nullify the of field pressure and bring new hope.


Written by Lewis Eadie

Add comment


There are no comments yet.