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Euro 2024 predictions: our experts on what to expect

Phil Foden in action for England

With just days to go before the opening match at the European Championship, Telegraph Sport’s football reporters, who will be making Germany their home for the next five weeks, make their predictions.

Player of the tournament

Harry Kane

Why not? If England are going to win it then their captain needs to excel. He has won nothing this season with Bayern Munich but has been in outstanding form. Jason Burt

Phil Foden

The best player in the Premier League this season and now at the stage of his career where he must be confident there are no barriers to what he can do in the game. Tournament football suits him – he is already a World Cup winner with England Under-17s – and he is at last a starter for England. Sam Wallace

Kylian Mbappé

Now that the soap opera of his Real Madrid move has been resolved, France’s superstar should be in the mood to deliver. With a hat-trick in a World Cup final, nobody brings a finer pedigree. Oliver Brown

Phil Foden

There will be plenty of attention on Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham from an England angle but Foden has been the outstanding player in the Premier League this season and it is time he did for England what he does for Manchester City. James Ducker

Jude Bellingham

Rises to the occasion with every step up and now everything is set for him on the international stage. Opponents will try to wind him up to react but he can cope with that and let his football do the talking back. Mike McGrath

Jamal Musiala

Still only 21, has the talent and personality to lead Germany to glory on their own soil. A sensational dribbler, Musiala is a player who creates something out of nothing. When it gets nervy in the knockout stages, he could make all the difference. Sam Dean

Toni Kroos

Carried home on a tide of goodwill and overdue appreciation in his final international tournament. Like Ryan Giggs winning PFA Player of the Year in 2009, as if it were a lifetime achievement award. Thom Gibbs

Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring for France
France striker Kylian Mbappé won the Golden Boot at the last World Cup and scored a hat-trick in the final - Getty Images/Franck Fife

Top goalscorer

Harry Kane

Expect a few strikers – such as Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku – to fill their boots in the group games while Bruno Fernandes is prolific for Portugal. But Kane could top the lot. JB

Kylian Mbappé

Mbappé scored eight in the last World Cup, including a hat-trick in the final to win the Golden Boot. Hard to look past a man who had 40 goals for his former club PSG last season and a further four for France. SW

Kylian Mbappé

The 25-year-old’s 46 goals for his country have come in only 77 appearances. On the back of the eight that earned him the Golden Boot in 2022, he will be ravenous for more. OB

Kylian Mbappé

Scorer of a hat-trick in the 2022 World Cup final, it is seldom wise to back against the France striker. JD

Romelu Lukaku

Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine will be the opponents for Belgium in the group stage and he will be confident of adding to his 83 international goals. Beware of a player in the shop window for a summer move. MM

Harry Kane

The England captain will back himself to do some serious damage against Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia in the group stages. SD

Romelu Lukaku

Was overall qualifying top scorer and Golden Boots are often winnable with a hat-trick in a group game plus a few more. Belgium’s group (Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine) appears weakest. TG

England pose for a team photo before the Iceland friendly at Wembley
It feels like the time is right for Gareth Southgate's side to finally come good - Sportimage/David Klein

Winner

England

There are concerns over the defence and teams with strong defences tend to win tournaments but it feels like England’s time if Gareth Southgate can just get the permutations right. JB

England

Not a perfect squad with obvious gaps at the left-sided centre-half and left-back. Nevertheless, a very strong attacking side, and a squad and manager with good experience of tournaments. Portugal and France the main threats. SW

France

The margins are so close, but I feel France’s major tournament savoir-faire (six finals in 26 years) versus that of England (one in 58) should prove decisive. OB

England

It’s all there for Gareth Southgate’s side, it really is. They have so many players at the top of their game. It would likely mean beating France, arguably the other stand-out team in the tournament, in the semi-final but England have the tools to do so. JD

England

Have the experience of reaching the final at the last Euros and they can beat France on their day. Players are in form and some like Bellingham have gone to a different level since the World Cup. MM

Germany

Home advantage will help and there is a nice blend of seasoned experts (Antonio Rüdiger, Ilkay Gundogan, Toni Kroos) and up-and-coming stars (Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala). Kai Havertz comes into the tournament as one of Europe’s in-form attackers. SD

France

Sigh. They seem the least flawed team and are building that collective mentality that spans generations and powers teams to finals regardless of circumstance. TG

Florian Wirtz in action for Germany
Florian Wirtz has been widely tipped to be the breakout star for Germany - Getty Images/Alexander Hassentein

Breakout star

Florian Wirtz

The Bayer Leverkusen playmaker is hardly unknown and has had an outstanding club season and is now the fulcrum of the German side. Also keen to see more of Spain’s 16-year-old winger, Lamine Yamal. JB

Cole Palmer

He is not even in the England first XI yet but should still be in the first wave of substitutes and potentially a starter if things change for Gareth Southgate. Unflappable character. He has won twice at international tournaments for England junior teams. SW

Cole Palmer

In a torrid season for Chelsea, Palmer was the one luminous presence, pressing intelligently and never failing to deliver under maximum scrutiny. He could transform England’s campaign. OB

Florian Wirtz

Coming off the back of a superb season with Bundesliga double winners Bayer Leverkusen, the stage is set for the 21-year-old to underline his burgeoning talent on home soil for Germany alongside another gifted young man in Jamal Musiala. JD

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

The biggest clubs in Europe have been watching Kvaratskhelia at Napoli for the past two seasons and now he can show what he can do on the international stage. The winger has the ability to seize control of games. MM

Xavi Simons

The Dutch forward has emerged as one of the most exciting young players in Europe. He spent last season on loan at RB Leipzig from Paris St-Germain and can play as an attacking midfielder or a winger. SD

Florian Wirtz

Has the look of a textbook European summer romance. Won the league with Bayer Leverkusen so his stock is high and he is expected to start on the left side of an attacking three for Germany. TG

Surprise package

Austria

They are in an extremely tough group but could pip the Netherlands to second place and make a run to the quarter-finals under Ralf Rangnick. JB

Scotland pose for a team photo before their friendly with Finland
Steve Clarke's Scotland kick the tournament off against hosts Germany and will revel in their underdog role - Getty Images/Andy Buchanan

Scotland

Fancy them to get out their group. Steve Clarke is an excellent manager and in John McGinn, Andrew Robertson, Billy Gilmour and Scott McTominay there are some big talents. Could well take a point or better off Germany in the opening match. SW

Denmark

Kasper Hjulmand’s team are under the radar after a dismal World Cup in Qatar, but the semi-finalists in 2021 have since added Manchester United’s Rasmus Hojlund and should go far. OB

Portugal

Are not exactly an unknown entity here but they have one of the most balanced squads in the tournament and quality in all areas. The 2016 winners could be a serious force at the tournament. JD

Scotland

Will revel in their underdog role and have the perfect opener, against hosts Germany, to make an impact straight away. There is talent and togetherness in the squad. MM

Ukraine

They have reliable players at the back (Bournemouth’s Illia Zabarnyi enjoyed an excellent season), technicians in midfield and spark in attack. Keep an eye on playmaker Georgiy Sudakov. SD

Albania

Are assumed to be the whipping boys against Spain, Croatia and Italy but they won their qualifying group and specialise in surrendering possession. Not expecting a Greece 2004 scenario, but they could reach the knockouts. TG

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