Who will win UEFA Euro 2024? Maltese journalists make their tournament predictions

The UEFA EURO 2024 kicks off in Munich’s Allianz Arena this Friday and will conclude at Berlin’s Olympiastadion on 14 July. Twenty-four teams are set to compete over 31 days, including hosts Germany, and defending champions Italy.

As the excitement builds, let’s dive into the predictions from some of Malta’s top sports journalists and pundits. Who will lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy this time? Who are the other main contenders?

Simon Farrugia – TVMSport Journalist

Portugal and France have got quality, depth, and experience. On the other hand, England possess a young talented team with a world class player who is performing wonders – Jude Bellingham.  A player who can make a difference, as in this level quality players win you games, such is the fine line between the top teams.

Germany, though not being the usual force, try to make the best out of the home advantage with Italy eager to repeat the unexpected success that they had when they won the last edition at Wembley Stadium beating the host team. And with Spanish football on a high following success once again in the UEFA Champions League, the national team will once again be hungry for the ultimate prize.

An edition which will once again produce top level football, though we also expect players who underperform given the long season that they are coming from.

Sandro Micallef – President Malta Sports Association and TVMSport Journalist

This tournament is taking place under extraordinary circumstances with political turmoil across the world. Germany, as the host nation and with a n excellent record in the competition will be hoping to make it their fourth UEFA Euro 2024 win.

This security situation has created a tense atmosphere and we can expect super tight operations around all venues in view of a possible militant terrorist attack. This may divert from the enjoyment of football although in the end sport must prevail.

As always, the attention in Malta will be focused on the usual countries, Italy and England who contested the final last time with the Azzurri scraping through on penalties at Wembley. However, the situation is quite different this time, as both have very hard groups, in particular Italy who have Spain to keep them company.

In my opinion, attention should be focused on dark horses such as Albania and Georgia, the latter with Napoli’s Kvaratshkelia on top and who could possibly be voted the player of the tournament.

My prediction: Germany to win it.

Josef Galdes – Freelance Journalist

France is the frontrunner to win this tournament, boasting exceptional players in every position. This poses a challenge for manager Didier Deschamps to maintain harmony in the dressing room. It has been 24 years since France last clinched the UEFA EURO title. One player to watch is Mbappe, whose talents are truly awe-inspiring. After falling short of winning the UEFA Champions League with Paris St. Germain, this could be a golden opportunity for him to prove himself worthy of donning the Real Madrid jersey.

Hosts Germany may not be the dominant force they once were, but they will endeavour to capitalize on their home advantage. Portugal also possesses a squad filled with quality players, and this tournament could mark Cristiano Ronaldo’s final appearance. Spain boasts a well-balanced team, blending both youthful talent and experienced players, thus ensuring strength and depth.

As the current champions of this tournament, Italy could pose a formidable challenge in their quest to win the title once again, despite not possessing the same level of quality as their previous squads. It will be highly intriguing to observe the performance of player Fagioli, who was sidelined for a significant portion of the season. Although they find themselves in a tough group, underestimating them would be a grave mistake.

Given England’s rich history and the significance of this competition, it is expected that they will emerge as first-time champions. Bookmakers have also placed them as firm favorites for victory. Players like Bellingham, fresh off a European triumph with his club, are in excellent form and will contribute to England’s success. As the 17th edition of this competition unfolds, fans can anticipate witnessing top-level football and the emergence of new talents, including Slovenia’s Benjamin Sesko.

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Gerald Fenech – Freelance Journalist

As the EURO 2024 tournament is upon us, we take a look at who the favourites are this time round. One can never discount the host nation Germany who are definitely one of the favourites whilst France have to be touted as top favourites. With Kylian Mbappe and players such as Dayot Upacameno and the evergreen Griezman, Les Bleus are surely a good bet to take the trophy for a record fourth time.

Last time’s finalists England are once again touted as tournament favourites but they seem to be suffering from a lack of midfield prowess with James Maddison having been dropped from the squad. Harry Kane and Phil Foden are players which can light up a tournament although injuries in the defensive part of the squad have created headaches for coach Gareth Southgate.

Holders Italy come into the tournament on a low-key level but Luciano Spalletti’s Azzuri will definitely make some noise. Three-time winners Spain are also in the mix, as always with a young but immensely talented squad and are also among the favourites to win the tournament.

Dark horses include Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands, the former with Kevin de Bruyne marshalling proceedings. It’s surely going to be a tournament to enjoy yet again.

Potential Surprise Teams As the 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship unfolds, fans can look forward to top-tier football and the emergence of new talents.

Bryan Borg – Football Journalist and Commentator

Here we go! The curtain raiser for EURO 2024 is just hours away, with hosts Germany facing Scotland in the opening match on Friday, 14th June, at 21:00 CET. Football enthusiasts are eager for nail-biting matches, with Spain vs. Italy, Netherlands vs. France, and Denmark vs. England all scheduled in the first week. Enough said! But who are the favorites? Who might disappoint, and could we see a ‘GREECE 2004’ moment?

On paper, England has the best squad, boasting depth that allows them to leave out big names like Rashford, Grealish, Sancho, and Sterling. Their defense could be a weak link, but a strong midfield might compensate. The question is, will they fail to deliver once again?

Never rule out Italy, the current champions, or the 2016 winners Portugal and France, runners-up to Argentina in the 2022 World Cup. Italy, though lacking the stars of the past, always play with passion. France’s blend of experience and youth, including Mbappé, positions them well for a third European title. Portugal’s squad, featuring veterans like Pepe and Ronaldo alongside talents like Cancelo, Fernandez, and Silva, challenges my opinion about England’s squad.

And Germany? As hosts with home support, they could go all the way. Let’s see how things unfold after the first round of matches!

Who will win UEFA EURO 2024??

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