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Gary Lineker breaks 20-year tradition with Euro 2024 prediction


Gary Lineker and the European Championship trophy

Gary Lineker has revealed his prediction for Euro 2024 (Pictures: Getty)

Former England striker and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker has broken a 20-year tradition after revealing his prediction for Euro 2024.

The 24 teams competing to become European champions are beginning to touch down in Germany ahead of the tournament opener between the hosts and Scotland on Friday night.

Italy are the reigning champions after their penalty shootout victory over England at Wembley in the summer of 2021 but the Italians, who failed to qualify for the last World Cup, are not considered one of the favourites to win Euro 2024.

Instead, much of the pre-tournament focus has been on World Cup finalists France, Euro 2020 runners-up England and resurgent hosts Germany.

France beat England on their way to the 2022 World Cup final before suffering a penalty shootout defeat to Argentina in an epic showpiece event in Qatar.

England have reached the latter stages of the last two World Cups and came agonisingly close to a first major trophy since 1966 when they reached the last Euros final.

Gareth Southgate likely has one last chance to end 58 years of hurt ahead of his probable exit at the end of the tournament and, for the first time since 2004, Lineker is backing England to triumph.

Gareth Southgate’s England squad arrived in Germany on Monday (Picture: Getty)

The last time Lineker tipped the Three Lions to win a tournament was before Euro 2004, when England were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Portugal.

‘People say to me, “you always pick England, you always do” – I haven’t tipped England to win a tournament since 2004,’ Lineker said on The Rest is Football podcast.

‘But this time, I actually think England will go all the way. Obviously it’s a knockout tournament so things can go wrong but I think we will win one of the next four tournaments because this team is only going to get better and better.’

Touchdown in Germany for #EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/6NuWkaHU8u

— England (@England) June 10, 2024

Lineker’s podcast colleague Micah Richards, who made 13 appearances for England, believes Southgate has the ‘best team’ ahead of the Euros but sees France as the ‘favourites’.

‘I would say France are the favourites just because the way they set up,’ he said. ‘I think England have better individuals but if France get it going they will be hard to beat.

‘But in terms of individual quality, I think England have the best team going into the Euros and I don’t think I’ve said that for a while. With a little bit of luck they can definitely it.’

Ex-England striker and Premier League legend Alan Shearer, meanwhile, is ‘super excited’ about the Three Lions and says the country has not had a better chance of winning a major tournament in men’s football for a ‘long, long time’.

‘I think we should be super excited about this team,’ Shearer said. ‘The front half of that team is incredible, …read more

Source:: Metro

      

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