DANNY MURPHY: Euro 2024 draw was kind to England, there is nothing to fear here for the Three Lions… they must be considered favourites alongside France and Portugal

  • England have been placed in the same group as Denmark, Serbia and Slovenia
  • There is nothing to fear for England, and they should be one of the favourites
  • Gary O’Neil has reached his last resort over Wolves decisions: It’s All Kicking Off

Nothing from Saturday night’s draw has altered my view that England are the likeliest prospects alongside France and Portugal to win Euro 2024.

Not many permutations would have worried Gareth Southgate’s squad to be honest. As top seeds, the fact they missed the toughest placement — the one that Spain got with Croatia and Italy — means it has to be considered a good outcome.

They’ll know enough about Denmark and Serbia to avoid surprises and if they want to go all the way, teams like Slovenia have to be dispatched.

I think it’s an added bonus that we’ll have no Battle of Britain this time either. Not only does it mean one game won’t dominate the agenda, England fans can also throw their backing behind Scotland and hopefully Wales too — even if the feeling isn’t reciprocated!

England’s first opponents Serbia have dangerous forwards headed by Dusan Vlahovic of Juventus but they aren’t as talented in other areas of the pitch and will fear Kane, Saka, Bellingham and the rest more than we fear them.

Gareth Southgate’s England have received a favourable draw for Euro 2024 in Germany

Harry Kane and Co have nothing to fear heading into next year’s tournament


England should be considered favourites alongside Kylian Mbappe’s France and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal for next summer’s tournament

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We beat Denmark at the last Euros and you could argue we’re stronger now and they’re not. My first thought when the countries were paired together is how Manchester United team-mates Harry Maguire and Rasmus Hojlund will fare in opposition. That is one of the fascinating aspects of tournaments — the guys you’ve trained with all year now becoming rivals.

Why have I picked Portugal and France as England’s main threats? In my eyes, those three nations have strength in depth in all areas so if they lose certain individuals, which happens through injury and suspensions when playing that many matches close together, they can still cope.

I’ve said in these pages during debates on who Southgate should pick, I’m quite confident on the left for example if it’s Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford or Phil Foden. They can all win you a match.

Harry Maguire (right) knows Rasmus Hojlund (left) well from their time together at Man United

England have strong options on the left, including Jack Grealish (centre) and Phil Foden (right)

John McGinn’s Scotland will not feel intimidated playing against tournament hosts Germany

ENGLAND EURO 2024 FIXTURES

  

Match 1: Sunday June 16 – England vs Serbia (Gelsenkirchen)

Match 2: Thursday June 20 – England vs Denmark (Frankfurt)

Match 3: Tuesday June 25 – England vs Slovenia (Cologne) 

 

I’m happy for the Scots. To draw the host nation in a fantastic stadium with the eyes of the world on you for the opening game, what a fabulous experience. And in guys like John McGinn and Andy Robertson, they don’t have to go out feeling intimidated.

This isn’t the strongest German team there has ever been even though you’d be daft to write them off, especially on home soil.

I think the draw has whetted the appetite. Given the strength of England’s players, the bonus of being top seeds and 16 of the 24 nations progressing to the knockouts, most scenarios would have looked good for Southgate in the draw.

This one certainly does. I can’t wait for England v Serbia now in Gelsenkirchen on June 16!

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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