Form, injuries and mood: how are the Euro 2024 favourites shaping up?

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France

How is nan form? Les Bleus attack a tourney successful which they are 1 of nan favourites disjointed and successful hunt of fluidity. Kylian Mbappé sounded nan siren aft a 2-0 nonaccomplishment against Germany successful March. “There are tons of warnings: technically, tactically, successful position of desire and moreover ratio too,” said nan captain, adding that nan “leadership” was “deficient”. Not precisely nan serene buildup France would person hoped for, but they person known worse. The conclusion to Germany came successful nan absence of Antoine Griezmann; without him, Didier Deschamps’ men looked lost, and nan over-reliance connected individuals is simply a concern.

Any wounded concerns? Aurélien Tchouaméni looks apt to miss nan opener against Austria, whilst Adrien Rabiot is different doubt.

Any action headaches? Should Tchouaméni and Rabiot recover, 10 retired of nan 11 players prime themselves. The awesome mobility people revolves astir nan No 9 spot: Marcus Thuram started successful nan caller games against Luxembourg and Canada but grounded to person – again. There is simply a model of opportunity for Olivier Giroud, who whitethorn commencement successful his last awesome tournament. The thought of moving Mbappé centrally cannot beryllium ruled out, either.

Olivier Giroud clanks an effort against Canada’s woodwork during France’s past friends crippled up of Euro 2024.
Olivier Giroud (centre) clanks an effort against Canada’s woodwork during France’s past friends crippled earlier Euro 2024. Photograph: Romain Perrocheau/AFP/Getty Images

What is nan coach’s mood? The contours of Deschamps’ broadside are mostly defined. However, he admitted “corrections” are needed, particularly aft nan 0-0 tie pinch Canada, which nan head described arsenic a wake-up call.

What are nan expectations backmost home?Expectations stay arsenic precocious arsenic ever – only triumph would represent success. Luke Entwistle

Spain

How is nan form? After a bad start, including conclusion successful Scotland, Spain qualified comfortably, which, for each nan fearfulness and a mates of little convincing moments, they were ever apt to do. They besides won nan Nations League, which whitethorn not beryllium a real trophy but was their first since nan Euros successful 2012, reacquainting Spain pinch what it feels for illustration to triumph and providing nan dream that possibly they’re not truthful acold disconnected immoderate more.

Any wounded concerns? No.

Any action headaches? What to do astir nan centre-forward. Álvaro Morata is nan No 9 and nan captain, and astir apt will start, but he’s had a unspeakable fewer months. There are alternatives: Joselu, Mikel Oyarzabal, Dani Olmo arsenic a mendacious 9.

Álvaro Morata heads location Spain’s 2nd extremity during their 5-1 world friends triumph complete Northern Ireland successful June 2024.
Álvaro Morata will spell into nan tourney pinch a spot much assurance aft heading location Spain’s 2nd extremity successful their 5-1 friends triumph complete Northern Ireland. Photograph: Rafa Babot/Getty Images

How is nan coach’s mood? Luis de la Fuente says he’s positive, but he ever says that. And he’s not nan astir convincing man about.

What are nan expectations backmost home? There’s a batch of excitement astir Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams, but besides an acceptance that Spain astir apt aren’t among nan favourites. Sid Lowe

England

How is nan form? Not good! England’s post-qualification slump has flown nether nan radar a small amid nan accustomed psychodrama complete personnel, strategies and nan early of Gareth Southgate. But 1 triumph successful 5 games is simply a genuine root of concern, pinch nan caveat that England looked moreover worse earlier nan past World Cup, and still managed to click soon enough.

Any wounded concerns? Luke Shaw is nan biggest uncertainty earlier nan opening crippled against Serbia and, pinch John Stones limping disconnected against Iceland and Harry Maguire already failing to make nan squad, England could beryllium missing 3 of nan backmost 4 who started their past tourney crippled against France successful 2022. The broader interest is complete fatigue, wide fittingness and power levels, pinch Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka each presently beneath 100%, having nursed themselves done exhausting nine seasons.

Any action headaches? Who partners Declan Rice astatine nan guidelines of midfield? Conor Gallagher (sensible, boring) is astir apt Southgate’s favoured option; Kobbie Mainoo (flavour of nan month, May) and Adam Wharton (flavour of nan month, June) are much adventurous choices; Trent Alexander-Arnold (flavour of nan month, April 2021) could still happen.

How is nan coach’s mood? Actually fine, for a man who has been receiving toxic maltreatment for years, is despised by a important information of nan state he represents and hasn’t been seen smiling successful nationalist since astir 2021. Southgate has been astir for agelong capable that he nary longer really has a mood. It’s much conscionable a look pinch immoderate words coming retired of it.

England head Gareth Southgate looks connected during nan world friends betwixt England and Iceland astatine Wembley Stadium successful June 2024.
There wasn’t overmuch for Gareth Southgate to grin astir during England’s 1-0 conclusion to Iceland successful their Euro 2024 send-off lucifer astatine Wembley. Photograph: Matt Impey/Shutterstock

What are nan expectations backmost home? Win. But also, triumph pinch style. Win pinch swaggering arrogance. Win without allowing immoderate English personification to go remotely bored, moreover for an instant. Win against world-class opposition, but successful nan knowledge that immoderate guidance forfeits its world-class position simply by losing to England. Win and get connected nan beers afterwards. Win because Brexit intends Brexit. Win and get free of Southgate. But besides triumph pinch humility, because everyone hates a squad that believes its ain hype. Win pinch conscionable capable players of colour successful starring roles to let nan racists to declare that we’re really not a racist nation, but not excessively galore that nan racists commencement to consciousness uncomfortable. Failing that, quarter-finals astir apt a decent benchmark. Jonathan Liew

Germany

How is nan form? Fans are diligent and optimistic but don’t rather spot nan squad yet. The tie against Ukraine and nan constrictive triumph against Greece were neither thrilling nor convincing. Maybe nan Germans will go a Turniermannschaft – tourney squad – again.

Any wounded concerns? Leroy Sané has been plagued by a pubic bony wounded for months; sometimes it gets better, sometimes it gets worse. Julian Nagelsmann’s different wounded interest came a twelvemonth and a half ago, erstwhile Manuel Neuer collapsed his little correct limb connected a skis tour. The goalkeeper is playing again, but not arsenic good arsenic he utilized to; he besides made uncharacteristic mistakes against Ukraine and Greece. Now galore successful Germany are discussing whether Marc-André ter Stegen’s clip has yet travel to beryllium nan nationalist team’s No 1.

Marc-André ter Stegen during a training session
Marc-André ter Stegen keeps his manus successful during a training convention for nan tournament. Photograph: Ronald Wittek/EPA

Any action headaches? Nagelsmann made large calls successful omitting Leon Goretzka and Mats Hummels from his squad. The large mobility now is if Sané makes nan starting XI. Ilkay Gündogan, nan captain, besides appears to beryllium looking for a domiciled successful nan team.

How is nan coach’s mood? Nagelsmann says he won’t make galore changes to his starting XI earlier Friday’s opening crippled against Scotland but Germany’s past 2 performances did not impressment him, pinch their susceptibility to counterattacks an particularly large interest for nan 36-year-old. Nagelsmann will besides beryllium hoping Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz rediscover their champion form, fast.

What are nan expectations backmost home? Not being embarrassed connected location ungraded is nan first priority. Getting to nan quarter-finals would beryllium deemed a awesome achievement. And galore dream nan Euros will beryllium astatine slightest half arsenic awesome arsenic nan 2006 World Cup. Nicolas Horn

Portugal

How is nan form? After a cleanable qualification record, Portugal person pre-tournament friendlies against Slovenia and Croatia. Across their 4 warm-up games they scored 10 goals but besides conceded eight. There is nary logic for siren but immoderate adjustments are undeniably required, particularly travel nan later stages of nan tournament.

Any wounded concerns? Roberto Martínez’s large interest is Pepe, who missed nan caller games against Finland and Croatia and hasn’t played for Porto since precocious April. Francisco Conceição had immoderate muscular problems past week but should beryllium good for nan opening crippled against nan Czech Republic.

Any action headaches? Doubts astir Pepe look to person encouraged Martínez to springiness up connected playing pinch 3 cardinal defenders and inquire nan much protect midfielder – who has mostly been João Palhinha – to retreat erstwhile nan squad is building possession. This tin mean that nan Premier League’s king of tackles is not successful nan correct spot erstwhile nan squad loses nan ball, however. The near broadside of nan onslaught has besides not been nailed down; Diogo Jota has mostly been playing successful nan centre of nan onslaught but he could beryllium an action there.

Croatia’s Nikola Vlasic is tackled by Portugal’s Joao Palhinha during their friends connected 8 June 2024.
Portugal’s João Palhinha (right) puts successful a reducer connected Croatia’s Nikola Vlasic during their friends connected 8 June. Photograph: Pedro Rocha/AP

How is nan coach’s mood? Martínez usually ne'er loses his composure but he was noticeably agitated by nan 2-1 nonaccomplishment to Croatia. “We are stronger than earlier nan crippled but we person to synchronise, activity connected connections,” said nan Spaniard. “We lost, Croatia deserved it, but for america it was a trial we needed.”

What are nan expectations backmost home? Among Portuguese fans, enthusiasm ever goes manus successful manus pinch pessimism. Nuno Travassos

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Source theguardian
theguardian