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Rohan Predicts: France to beat England in finals, win Euros

Rohan Predicts: France to beat England in finals, win Euros

This summer, while club football stadiums lay deserted, Europe’s best football players will gather in Germany in hopes of bringing glory to their country. 

The UEFA European Championship is the crown jewel of European national team competition and is the most anticipated of the continental competitions in between World Cups.

Similarly to how Qatar hosted and won the Asian Cup, and the Ivory Coast hosted and won AFCON, the German hosts will strive to follow this example, but the competition won’t be easy. 

Hosts Germany will kick off the tournament in Munich on June 14 with a match against Group A challengers Scotland. Group A is already one of the most competitive groups, with Switzerland, Hungary and Scotland all showing their strength in qualifying matches. 

Germany will easily clear the group, but Switzerland will just sneak into the second qualifying spot, with Scotland coming in third and Hungary rounding out the group. 

Group B will prove to be an even tighter qualification than the first one. Sorry Albania, you’ve done great to qualify for the tournament, but when your competition is Croatia, Italy and Spain, you’ll end up in fourth place. Italy’s situation is a bit of a conundrum as it failed to qualify for back-to-back World Cups but somehow are entering the competition as reigning Euro champions. 

Italy will continue its European hot streak, topping this group, with blockbuster rivals Spain coming in second. While Croatia was brilliant in the past two World Cups, their aging squad will hold them back in what may be the last bout for legend Luka Modrić. 

Group C is slightly less competitive but is sure to produce fireworks. England may bottle the knockouts, but they can easily clear their competition of Serbia, Slovenia and Denmark. The battle between Denmark and Serbia will be tight, but I think Denmark will slip into the second qualifying spot, and Slovenia be last.

In Group D, the level of competition steps back up. France is definitely one of the top title contenders and will prove its worth by clearing this group, but not without strong competition from Austria, Poland and especially the Netherlands. 

The second spot won’t be clear-cut, but the Netherlands is the second strongest team. Unfortunately, unlike Barcelona, Robert Lewandowski’s Polish team does not have any 16-year-old superstars to carry it to victory, and he won’t be able to carry Poland to the knockouts. 

Austria is another team that was strong during the qualifiers, but it won’t find success in this strong group. Group E is fairly basic. Kevin de Bruyne will lead the Belgians to top the group fairly easily, with Ukraine claiming the second qualifying spot. Romania will slot into third and Slovakia in last. 

Lastly, Group F. Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed his intention to play the Euro’s despite turning 39 years old in February. He is still seeking success with this Portugal team, but how much game time he gets remains to be seen. 

Even if João Félix kicks Ronaldo to the bench, the Portuguese are no longer dependent on him and are definitely strong enough to beat out Türkiye, Czechia and Georgia for the top spot. Türkiye, though, will be runners-up, with Czechia and Georgia hitting the bottom. 

For the Round of 16, the top two teams from each of the six groups will move on, as well as four third-place teams depending on points and, if needed, goal differential. 

Regardless of how the bracket is formatted, the ultimate competition will be between England and France, with Germany, Portugal, Spain and Italy being the only teams who have a slight chance to give these two powerhouse teams a run for their money. 

England currently has the better odds to win it all, but Gareth Southgate hasn’t shown the same top-manager quality as Didier Deschamps. 

And France’s 2-1 victory in Qatar in 2022 is almost surely still being lodged in the heads of these English players, particularly Harry Kane. 

When the final is played in July at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, I assume Vegedream will be able to sing with the fans and celebrate Les Bleus, but as everyone knows, nothing is ever guaranteed in football.

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Rohan Bhatia
Rohan Bhatia, Sports Editor
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