Winner, Golden Boot, best Liverpool player & more – Euro 2020 predictions

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With Euro 2020 upon us, This Is Anfield’s writers and contributors have been giving their predictions ahead of the tournament.

One of international football’s biggest tournaments gets underway on Friday evening, with Turkey and Italy meeting in Rome (9pm BST).

Liverpool have seven players representing their countries in the competition – sadly, it isn’t eight, due to Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s thigh injury.

As the Euros prepare to get started, we’ve asked an assortment of TIA regulars to give their predictions on five different outcomes.

 

Jack Lusby – @LusbyJack

LEUVEN, BELGIUM - Sunday, November 15, 2020: England's captain Harry Kane during the UEFA Nations League Group Stage League A Group 2 match between England and Belgium at Den Dreef. (Pic by Jeroen Meuwsen/Orange Pictures via Propaganda)

Winner: Looking at the groups, I think some of the big nations might struggle to progress, so I’m going for Italy.
Golden Boot: Harry Kane
Best player: Kylian Mappe
Liverpool player to shine most: Probably Thiago, but I think Neco Williams has the opportunity to be a dark horse…
Surprise team: Poland

 

Joanna Durkan – @JoannaDurkan_

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - Saturday, June 23, 2018: Belgium's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring the second goal during the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Group G match between Belgium and Tunisia at the Spartak Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Winner: France
Golden Boot: Kylian Mbappe
Best player: Romelu Lukaku
Liverpool player to shine most: A small selection, but it’s Diogo Jota for me
Surprise team: Denmark

 

Henry Jackson – @HenryJackson87

NICE, FRANCE - Wednesday, June 2, 2021: France's Karim Benzema (L) and Wales' Joseff Morrell during an international friendly match between France and Wales at the Stade Allianz Riviera ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament. (Pic by Simone Arveda/Propaganda)

Winner: France
Golden Boot: Karim Benzema
Best player: Whoever Gareth Southgate starts most out of Phil Foden and Jack Grealish (he won’t play both, which is criminal!)
Liverpool player to shine most: Diogo Jota
Surprise team: Denmark

 

Matt Ladson – @mattladson

Thiago Alcantara, Spain (Photo by Mutsu Kawamori/AFLO)

Winner: France – if they can come through that group of death!
Golden Boot: Kylian Mbappe, after a hat-trick against Hungary in the group stage.
Best player: I can’t say Mbappe again, so I’ll go with Phil Foden.
Liverpool player to shine most: Thiago Alcantara, la!
Surprise team: North Macedonia have surprised me already because I had no clue they were in it!

 

James Nalton – @JDNalton

Diogo Jota, Portugal

Winner: Spain
Golden Boot: Burak Yilmaz
Best player: Eden Hazard
Liverpool player to shine most: Diogo Jota
Surprise team: Ukraine (or Turkey)

 

Karl Matchett – @karlmatchett

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - Tuesday, June 8, 2021: Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri during a training session at the Dalga Arena on day one of their UEFA Euro 2020 tournament. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Winner: France
Golden Boot: Karim Benzema
Best player: Romelu Lukaku
Liverpool player to shine most: Thiago
Surprise team: Switzerland

 

John O’Sullivan – @NotoriousJOS

PARIS, FRANCE - Friday, November 10, 2017: France's Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring the first goal during the international friendly match between France and Wales at the Stade de France. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Winner: Italy
Golden Boot: Antoine Griezmann
Best player: Nicolo Barella
Liverpool player to shine most: Diogo Jota
Surprise team: Italy

 

Red – @TaintlessRed

NICE, FRANCE - Wednesday, June 2, 2021: France's Kylian Mbappé during an international friendly match between France and Wales at the Stade Allianz Riviera ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament. (Pic by Simone Arveda/Propaganda)

Winner: France
Golden Boot: Romelu Lukaku
Best player: Kylian Mbappe
Liverpool player to shine most: Thiago
Surprise team: Italy

 

Liam Togher – @liamtogher88

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - Tuesday, June 26, 2018: France's Ngolo Kante during the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Group C match between Denmark and France at the Luzhniki Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Winner: The talent from which Didier Deschamps can choose is bordering on obscene, so much so that the likes of Olivier Giroud, Thomas Lemar, Ousmane Dembele and Kingsley Coman are all unlikely to make the starting XI.

Les Bleus also have a champions’ mentality from their World Cup triumph, while several of their key players are also serial winners at club level.

Good luck to the defences tasked with shackling Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann.

Golden Boot: Forgive me for choosing a former Everton and Man United player, but Romelu Lukaku’s goal record at international level is superb, while he has also been banging them in consistently for Inter Milan this season.

Add in that Belgium should go far and could rack up some sizeable goal hauls against Denmark, Finland and Russia in their group, and I think their all-time leading scorer could top up his tally rather nicely over the summer.

Best player: N’Golo Kante. The man who seemed to be everywhere during the Champions League final is class personified, while he also has the bonus of playing for the tournament favourites.

While Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann et al fire the bullets to pick off France’s opposition, Kante will readily do the unsung slog of stifling the teams his side face.

He could be the one player Deschamps would least like to lose during the finals.

Liverpool player to shine most:Diogo Jota. The 24-year-old might not have been at his swashbuckling best in the weeks after returning from his three-month injury over the winter, but we all know just how deadly he can be when he is on-song.

Like Kante, he gets to enjoy playing for one of the tournament favourites in holders Portugal, and he is a probable starter for Fernando Santos’ side.

Having watched from home as his compatriots triumphed in 2016, Jota is now a key figure in this Portuguese line-up.

Surprise team: Turkey. Led by Senol Gunes, who guided them to third at the 2002 World Cup, the Crescent Stars conceded only three goals in qualifying and took four points against France along the way.

They also spanked Netherlands in the World Cup qualifiers in March, while they have a strong balance from Caglar Soyuncu and Ozan Kabak in defence to Lille’s potent duo Burak Yilmaz and Yusuf Yazici in attack.

Their side of the draw also seems favourable, so I can see them being among the quarter-finalists.

 

Dan Clubbe – @dan_clubbe

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - Tuesday, June 26, 2018: Denmark players form a pre-match huddle before the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Group C match between Denmark and France at the Luzhniki Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Winner: France
Golden Boot: Kylian Mbappe
Best player: N’Golo Kante
Liverpool player to shine most: Diogo Jota
Surprise team: Denmark

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