One day until the party in France begins!
With Euro 2016 less than 24 hours away, hundreds of people are throwing round their predictions of what’s going to take place in France over the next month.
So, we at Sillyseason thought we’d do exactly the same, with all the squads sorted and groups drawn, we have all the information we need to make our own predictions and tell you what we think lies ahead.
Like everyone else, when we did this for the 2015/16 Premier League season back in August, we all got things horribly wrong. Nobody saw Chelsea finishing 10th, Liverpool finishing 8th, and of course, Leicester winning the league. Will we get similar shocks on the international stage this year? Here’s what our writers think!
Euro 2016 winners – For me, I’m going with the home nation, France. You always feel like you have the advantage in every game when you’re the home nation, and that combined with some of the special, special players they have will make them practically unstoppable for me. Payet, Pogba and Grizemann are all incredible talents and will run the show.
Runners-up – I think France will beat Belgium in the final. In that side of the draw we have a lot of talented teams, including Spain, Croatia, Portugal, Italy and Sweden. But I think that Belgium just the bright sparks to edge past them all, especially with players such as Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, if Hazard can find is form again, he can fire Belgium to the final, and anything can happen there.
Top scorer – This is difficult, as there are so many fantastic players going, and it depends on how far their nation gets in the tournament. There are the superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, with their teams potentially going a long way, but then there are players like Robert Lewandowski (who was top scorer in qualifying), Gareth Bale and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who are quality finishers but don’t have the strongest teams around them. I’m going to go with Germany’s Thomas Muller. I don’t think Germany will go all the way, but he’ll try his best to get them there by scoring a fair amount of goals.
Player to watch – Dimitri Payet. Just watch him, he’s an absolute genius on the ball and this summer everyone in Europe is going to see it.
How will England do? I think this has quarter finals written all over it for England. It would be nice to reach the semis, but with France and Germany in our side of the draw, I just don’t see it happening. Unfortunately, I would class quarter-finals as another tournament failure and I think it will lead to the departure of Roy Hodgson. Sorry Woy.
Most disappointing player – Contrary to others, I don’t think Cristiano Ronaldo is going to shine. He never seems to at an international level, and I think the quality of players around him in his team won’t help him, and he’ll be out of the tournament sooner than he’ll want to be.
Tournament winner – I can’t look past Germany to be honest, they’ve got so much strength in depth and they are coming off the back of winning the World Cup.
Runner-up: Spain. They’re always a threat and they have some top quality players, I’m backing them to get to the final.
Top-scorer: Robert Lewandowski, absolutely lethal for Bayern Munich and Poland. Equalled David Healy’s goalscoring record in the qualfiers (13 goals). Also, Poland are my shout for dark horses due to attacking qualities.
Player to watch: Paul Pogba, so much said about him but can he do it on the biggest stage in front of a home crowd!
How far will England go? England will get to the quarter-finals at the very best, don’t see them getting past there!
Most disappointing player: Marcus Rashford, not disappointing in terms of performance that would be harsh because of his age and other circumtstances. I think disappointment in terms of he won’t get much of a chance behind Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney.
Tournament Winner – Belgium. A dark horse, with plenty of talent, look at players such as Lukaku, De Bruyne and Hazard, they’ve got plenty of goals in them.
Runners up: France. I think they’ll get to the final but will fall at the final hurdle.
Top scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s just a world-class player and I think he’ll continue the momentum he gained by scoring the winning penalty in the Champions League final and carry it into this.
Player to watch: Harry Kane. He’s done it for 2 seasons at Spurs in the Premier League, now I think he’ll repeat that form with England.
How will England do? Quarter finals. With France and Germany in our half of the draw I don’t see us going any further.
Disappointing player: Daniel Sturridge. Too injury prone, he’ll be a massive let-down.
Tournament winners – France, with the nation behind them and the quality of players they have, I think they’ll make it all the way this time.
Runners-up – Spain. They just have some fantastic individuals, including the best young striker around in Alvaro Morata. I think they’ll bounce back from their World Cup disappointment 2 years ago and get to the final again this year.
Top scorer – Robert Lewandowski. He’s the best finisher in the game for me, got top scorer in the qualifying and is unstoppable for Bayern Munich, so I think he’s going to do well here.
Player to watch – Paul Pogba. France’s prized asset, he’s going to show everyone how good he is over the next month.
How will England do? I actually think the semi-finals. I think the willingness of such a young team can carry us that far and we’ll have a successful tournament.
Most disappointing player – Daniel Sturridge. Far too injury prone and probably won’t get to play ahead of Kane and Vardy.
Tournament winners – France. France have such a strong team available to them and strength in depth in most positions too. They have world-class strikers, midfielders, defenders and keepers and I expect them to do well in their own country and come out as winners.
Runner-Up – Spain. Although I don’t think Spain are too strong – or at least as strong as they were – I still think they’ll be able to get to the final. They have no proven striker at a national level but they still have a decent team and if Aduriz, Morata or their midfielders can share the goal scoring duties, they don’t have too difficult a task getting to the final on their end.
Top Scorer – Antoine Griezmann. Griezmann has had a sensational season for his club and I expect him to continue it for the national side, as he helps them on their way to the title. Griezmann has really come on as a striker and I think he will be a force to be reckoned with this summer.
Player to Watch – Arkadiusz Milik (I think that’s how you spell it!). While Lewandowski takes most of the limelight with Poland, it’s his fellow striker/attacking midfielder Milik who I think could shine and stand out alongside him this summer. He was tremendous in qualifying with six goals and six assists and I think he can continue to do well. I think Poland will get to at least the last 16 and I think it can be the partnership of Lewandowski and Milik – an unsung hero – who can help them get to at least that stage.
How far will England go? I think England should get at least to the quarters. I reckon at that point they’ll end up against Portugal who – as per usual – will dump them out. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if we made it to the semis and if we did it would be a big achievement really, especially with such a young team.
Most disappointing player – I think one of the German players will end up as one of the most disappointing so I’ll say Mario Gotze. Or perhaps someone from England who has been hyped up to do well – someone like Jamie Vardy or Dele Alli, although I hope they don’t disappoint!
Tournament winners – France. Very exciting attacking team, and any team who can leave out Benzema without fans batting an eyelid definitely have something to offer
Top scorer: Thomas Muller. Very prolific up front and would be perfect sat in front of such a fantastic midfield, with players such as Ozil and Gotze all playing well.
Players to watch: Morata, Alli, Kanté. Morata is exciting and can score goals and has a point to prove. Alli, again young and exciting- would be good to see him build on an impressive season at Spurs. (Joe cheated and picked more than one player)
How will England do? England will probably get to the quarter finals, a younger and more hungry squad this tournament with something to prove. Lots of spurs players potentially mean more chemistry and it would be very interesting to see how they work together on a bigger stage. Looking almost certain that hodgson will play 3 up front so should be good to see some brilliant attacking play.
Most disappointing player: I’m going to be controversial; Jamie Vardy WILL disappoint. People are looking to him as a sort of talisman after an unbelievable season, but he is inexperienced and simply just an in form player. Roy will only make Vardy a plan B, to bring off the bench when his plans inevitably don’t come to fruition.
Tournament winners – Belgium. I think their many talented players can take them to glory. They have some fantastic players in both attack and defence.
Runners-up – France. I think their home-nation support will carry them to the final before they’re beaten narrowly by Belgium!
Top scorer – Antoine Griezmann. He’s had a great season for his club and I think he’ll carry that form into the European Championships.
Player to watch – Ante Coric (Croatia). The 19 year old has incredible potential and I think he could be one of those players who bursts onto the scene at this tournament. Keep an eye out for him!
How will England do? I think they could make the semi finals, I just don’t think they have it in them to beat either Germany or France, who are the better teams in our half of the draw!
Most disappoiting player – Raheem Sterling. He’s been incredibly poor for Manchester City this season really, and he didn’t look good in England’s pre-tournament friendlies. I think he could flop badly here!
So there you have it, everybody’s predictions on what will take place at Euro 2016 over the next month. The tournament kicks off with home nation France playing Romania in Paris! It will be live and free in England on ITV from 8pm UK time.
By Ben Kelly – @benkelly_10