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Euro 2024: Group C – preview, offers and predictions

Can the Three Lions progress from a group that also includes Denmark, Serbia and Slovenia?

Jordan Pickford

Who is in Group C?

The group with the greatest interest for England fans as it comprises Gareth Southgate’s hopefuls as well as Serbia, Slovenia and Denmark.

The action gets underway on Sunday with Slovenia taking on Denmark in Stuttgart before England meet Serbia in Gelsenkirchen, the home of Schalke.

England are the overwhelming favourites to win the group, and it would be a surprise if the Three Lions didn’t emerge from the group unbeaten.

Second and third place – remember the best four third-place finishers also advance to the knockout phase – appear up for grabs.

If FIFA’s world rankings are any guide, it will be Denmark (21) that come second, Serbia (33) third and Slovenia (57) fourth.

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Is it finally ‘Coming Home?’

Well, England ought to be good enough to get through the group with few alarms. After that it will come down to the draw. Topping the group will ensure a round of 16 meeting with one of the third-placed teams so that has to be the aim.

On paper, England possess arguably the strongest squad in the tournament alongside World Cup finalists France – the team that beat England in the quarter-finals in Qatar.

WIth that in mind, bet365 have England at 2/5 to win Group C and 1/25 to qualify for the next stage.

They cruised through qualifying, winning six of their eight games, including home and away successes against defending European champions Italy.

It was also sweet revenge for Southgate and Co after going down to the Azzurri in the final of Euro 2020 on a penalty shoot-out.

One notable difference from the side that came so close in 2021 is the development of two key players – Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden. Both are now pivotal men for their club sides, Real Madrid and Manchester City.

England’s success could depend on how they perform in Germany, and also how they are utilised by Southgate.

There is the predictable clamour for the handbrake to be released and for England to play with Declan Rice as a sole holding midfielder, freeing up Foden to move more centrally alongside Bellingham.

It may be Southgate feels confident to try it in the group phase but he may revert to a more customary formation for the sterner tests that could lie in wait as the tournament progresses.

England also have the best out-and-out number nine in world football in Harry Kane. The former Tottenham striker enjoyed a wonderful first season individually at Bayern Munich, even if his personal trophy drought goes on.


How dangerous are the Danes?

If their last European Championship campaign is anything to go by, they could be a threat, although it was England who ended their run at the semi-final stage.

They were less impressive in Qatar, finishing bottom of a group that also included France, Australia and Tunisia.

Coach Kasper Hjulmand presided over a qualifying campaign that saw them win Group H on a better head-to-head record over Slovenia, although question marks still persist over the quality of the side.

Bet365 have Denmark at 4/1 to win the group and 1/3 to qualify.

Hjulmand knows his team have to start well with a win in a swift reunion with Slovenia a must.

He told “There are three really strong opponents that we have to face. Slovenia is a very evenly-matched opponent. We met them twice, played one draw and won one match at home 1-0. They are a strong team. I am very impressed with their clear structure, creative set pieces, they are well coached and have good players. They have world-class players at the front and back of the field.

“As for England, since I started looking into the English strategy, they have come forward with Gareth [Southgate]. With the quality and talent England possess, they will win something in the next couple of years. They will be a tough nut to crack, but we have played some good matches against England in recent years. We were in the [UEFA] Nations League with them in 2020 and won one match and drew one.

“Then there is Serbia, who are a really tricky team and who also have great talent, especially on the offensive side. A team that is capable of beating anyone when they are on a roll. So they are also very evenly-matched opponents.”

They are strong defensively with the likes of Andreas Christensen, Simon Kjaer and Joachim Andersen all named in the squad. Denmark will hope Christian Eriksen can regain top form while his Manchester United team-mate Rasmus Hojlund will be required to score the goals.


Serbia should not be discounted

Serbia qualified as runners-up in Group G, edging out Montenegro in third and behind Hungary.

It wasn’t a campaign to scare the likes of England and mark them out as a potential threat but then you look at their squad and see the quality they possess.

Any side with Dusan Tadic playing just behind Aleksander Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic has to be respected.

Whether coach Dragan Stojkovic will be bold enough to field all three is another matter but the former Yugoslavia star is a big fan of his strike duo.

He said: “Aleksandar Mitrović has shown numerous times how devoted he is to the Serbian jersey. He is showing that same devotion for the clubs he plays for. He’s a lad whom you can trust. That’s an important quality. Those are pretty big things as forwards can sometimes be pretty selfish or they can just look to be that one player who scores and decides the match.

“Dušan Vlahović is, in my opinion, one of the most talented forwards in Europe. He’s still very young. What he has achieved in the last two or three years, when he made the breakthrough and signed for a club as big as Juventus, is all the result of his great dedication and the goals he scored. As a person he’s a very humble lad, which is very important.”

Serbia are 8/1 to win the group and 4/7 to qualify for the knockout phase with bet365.


So what of Slovenia?

Well, if qualifying is anything to go by, they really ought to be considered in the same vein as Denmark.

The two teams finished atop the qualifying group with 22 points from 10 games, an impressive record.

Their only defeats came in Denmark and Finland while they also drew the home game with Hjulmand’s men.

The bookies see it differently, however. Slovenia are 10/1 to win the group and the outsiders to qualify as well at 5/4 with bet365.

Their challenge will be spearheaded by in-demand striker Benjamin Šeško.

Šeško has enjoyed another strong season in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig and is reported to have caught the attention of Arsenal and Chelsea.

He has a £56million release clause and a strong Euros will surely see him playing Premier League football next season.



England should have too much for the other three sides in the pool, although don’t be surprised if Denmark hold Southgate’s men to a draw.

Second place appears wide open. Slovenia showed they are Denmark’s equal in qualifying while Serbia have the firepower to trouble any defence.

We’ll plump for the Danes, though. Defensively they look strong and that might just give them the edge.


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Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.