Home Scottish Premiership Euro 2020: Who will win the trophy, the Golden Boot and be the breakout star?

Euro 2020: Who will win the trophy, the Golden Boot and be the breakout star?

by Football Frenzied

The excitement is building. Teams are making their final preparations. Euro 2020 is finally just one day away.

Turkey and Italy get the tournament started on Friday night before the Home Nations get involved, with Wales facing Switzerland on Saturday, England out for revenge against Croatia on Sunday and Scotland making their return by hosting the Czech Republic the following day. 

Here, Sportsmail’s experts give their thoughts on the big talking points ahead of the curtain-raiser in Rome, including who’s going to seal glory, who will claim the Golden Boot, as well as the surprise package and which starlet to watch…

Portugal will be looking to retain the European Championship after winning five years ago

KIERAN GILL

Winner 

Italy. I know they’re not one of the favourites, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that Roberto Mancini is going to pull something out of the bag this summer. They won all 10 of their Euro 2020 qualifying games, conceding only four goals in the process. 

They won their two warm-ups 7-0 and 4-0 (I know, I know, one of them was against San Marino but the other was against the Czech Republic, who aren’t too bad). So I’m going Italy.

Top scorer 

Kylian Mbappe. This could be the tournament where he officially says the debate between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo being the world’s best player is over – because it’s this French superstar.

France striker Kylian Mbappe is set to be battling it out for the tournament's Golden Boot

France striker Kylian Mbappe is set to be battling it out for the tournament’s Golden Boot

Surprise package 

Scotland. I can see the Scots getting Hampden Park positively rocking for their games against Croatia and the Czech Republic and them getting out of Group D. They can make this a tournament to remember, like Wales in 2016.

Young player to watch 

The first name that came to my mind was Jude Bellingham. I can’t wait to see this 17-year-old fly.

TOM COLLOMOSSE

Winner 

Portugal. They have all bases covered and, as long as they escape a ferocious group that also includes France and Germany, have everything required to retain their trophy.

Top scorer 

Antoine Griezmann. A difficult spell at Barcelona should not cloud his importance to world champions France. He was a key man at both Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018 and, at 30, still has plenty of miles left on the clock.

Surprise package 

Turkey. Anything could happen when the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists play, but they have the quality to do some damage in an open group also comprising Italy, Wales and Switzerland. Zeki Celik, Yusuf Yazici and Burak Yilmaz should be full of confidence after helping Lille win the French title.

Turkey have the quality to do some damage in an open group with Italy, Wales and Switzerland

Turkey have the quality to do some damage in an open group with Italy, Wales and Switzerland

Young player to watch 

Pedri. Though he does not turn 19 until November, Pedri already looks the real deal – a Barcelona midfielder in the style of Andres Iniesta. 

Despite his age, it was no surprise to see him named in Luis Enrique’s final squad and he looks perfect for a role in a three-man midfield. Pedri was already a star in the making but this tournament could elevate him to a new level altogether.

MATT BARLOW

Winner

France. Strong squad with depth and balance, and experience at the sharp end of tournament football.

Top scorer

Romelu Lukaku. On a high after firing Inter to the title, in a creative team with licence to attack under Roberto Martinez.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku is on a high after firing Inter to the title and in a creative team

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku is on a high after firing Inter to the title and in a creative team

Surprise package

Denmark. Cohesive, in good form with a dash of quality and home advantage.

Young player to watch

Jude Bellingham. He has stepped smoothly up to international level and looks better with every game.

DANIEL MATTHEWS

Winner

France. Provided they avoid an early slip-up in their group of death, Didier Deschamps’ side will take some stopping. 

They are blessed with experience and quality throughout the pitch, not least in attack where the return of Karim Benzema completes a ludicrous front three alongside Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.

Didier Deschamps' world champions France will take some stopping at Euro 2020 this summer

Didier Deschamps’ world champions France will take some stopping at Euro 2020 this summer

Top scorer 

Lukaku. Playing both Denmark and Russia in their own backyard is hardly ideal for Belgium but you’d still expect Roberto Martinez’s side to win Group B at a canter.

It would be little surprise if they ended with nine points and a head start in the scoring charts. Lukaku was second only to Cristiano Ronaldo in this year’s Serie A Golden Boot race – can the 28-year-old turn the tables this summer?

Surprise package

Denmark. A spine familiar to fans of English football will give Denmark a decent platform to ruffle some feathers this summer. 

Schmeichel, Christensen, Hojbjerg, Eriksen and Co will fancy their chances of escaping Group B, where they could face a very winnable last-16 tie.

Young player to watch

Alexander Isak. The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will undoubtedly loom large over Sweden after injury curtailed his comeback. Fellow forward Isak has already had to carry the burden of comparisons to the country’s finest ever player. 

But the 21-year-old has the quality to write his own history. The pair dovetailed well during a brief partnership and now, even without Ibrahimovic, Isak’s explosive pace, neat feet and finishing could propel Sweden to the knockout stages.

Sweden's Alexander Isak has the quality to write his own history without Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Sweden’s Alexander Isak has the quality to write his own history without Zlatan Ibrahimovic

CRAIG HOPE

Winner

Portugal. The defending champions have a squad far superior to that which won in France five years ago. How can you not fancy a frontline including Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Diogo Jota and Joao Felix? And don’t forget Ruben Dias at the back, either. 

They have a difficult group, yes, but that level of opposition will only sharpen them going into the last 16, where there is a strong chance they could meet – and beat – England at Wembley.

Top scorer 

Diogo Jota. It depends on him winning a start ahead of Andre Silva, but I fancy Portugal to go all the way. If the Liverpool man does play, he won’t be short of chances with that supporting cast.

If Portugal's Diogo Jota does play, he will be fed chances by a stellar creative line-up

If Portugal’s Diogo Jota does play, he will be fed chances by a stellar creative line-up

Surprise package

Scotland. Forget all the cliched talk of spirit and the Tartan Army going into battle, this team have real quality and a clear identity under Steve Clarke. 

I am convinced they will make the knockout rounds for the first time in their history and, as they proved in a 2-2 draw with Holland last week, they can unsettle supposedly mightier opponents. I’m backing them to make the quarter-finals, at least.

Young player to watch

Jude Bellingham. If I have one wish for England, it is that the 17-year-old starts the tournament. Some of the stuff he can do defies the logic of his tender years, and it’s not as if he’s a winger showing the odd flash of talent – he’s bossing games from the middle of the park. 

The Scotland team have real quality and a clear identity under manager Steve Clarke

The Scotland team have real quality and a clear identity under manager Steve Clarke

ADRIAN KAJUMBA

Winner

France. Reigning world champions with frightening depth and even stronger than last tournament following the recall of Karim Benzema.

Top scorer

Lukaku. Single-minded, for the right reasons, striker who heads into the tournament in the form of his career after firing Inter to the Italian title.

Surprise package

North Macedonia. Debutants they might be but North Macedonia arrive in good form, including a historic win over Germany in March, have a group they’ll fancy they can get out of and have an exciting youngster to keep an eye on in Elif Elmas.

Young player to watch

Jude Bellingham. Has displayed maturity beyond his years in adapting to each step up with ease and possesses ability to impact games which may eventually make him too good not to pick.

Jude Bellingham has displayed maturity beyond his years in adapting to each step up with ease

Jude Bellingham has displayed maturity beyond his years in adapting to each step up with ease

OLIVER TODD

Winner

Germany. Yes, they lost 6-0 to Spain back in November, but this German team has plenty of emerging quality as well as major tournament experience in the men Joachim Low has brought back into the fold.

Obviously world champions France are the favourites – but the Germans might be helped by how they cannot play Les Bleus again until the final after meeting in their opening group game. If Timo Werner can find form (a big ‘if’) they will be dangerous.

Top scorer

Harry Kane. England might not go all the way but group games against Scotland and Czech Republic should give Kane a chance to fill his (golden) boots. Particularly with the creative talent England have available to supply him.

Surprise package

Denmark. Playing at home in Copenhagen will be a blessing for the Danes in a group including Belgium, Russia and Finland. There’s experience in the form of Kasper Schmeichel and Simon Kjaer while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Andreas Christensen have had great club seasons. And I back Christian Eriksen to turn up on this stage after a turn in form at Inter Milan.

Young player to watch

Ryan Gravenberch, 19, is the next big talent out of Holland with a host of Premier League clubs watching. 6ft 3in tall in midfield, great with both feet. He’ll impress even if it’s off the bench. And with Mino Raiola as his agent, there’s sure to be transfer drama around the corner.

Source: DailyMail

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