Logo of ITV Football
itv |


ITV pundits look ahead to UEFA Euro 2020

ITV confirmed a stellar line-up for Euro 2020 earlier this week - and ahead of the competition getting underway on Friday, June 11, the broadcaster's pundits have been looking ahead to this summer's showpiece.

Read on to see how the likes of Ian Wright, Gary Neville and Roy Keane see the Euros unfolding.

What are you most looking forward to about Euro 2020? 

Mark Pougatch"Fans, I don't know how many we're going to have but we've seen with a few games at the end of the season just what a difference it makes. Also I think that certainly in the games in in the UK I think every fan is almost going to incorporate the body of the two or three who are not allowed to be there and I think I certainly expect for England v Scotland it's going to sound like there's almost 80,000 there. I'm looking forward to it, it's been so hard without them - I think we've all underestimated just how important they are and just what a massive role they play in sport and in football. We probably knew it, but now we really know it and I think that's just going to be absolutely brilliant even if it's 25 percent full or 50 percent full, I think the noise they make it's going to make it feel like it's almost full. The FA Cup final was amazing, that was fantastic, and not just the fans in the ground, but going to the ground, and the whole build up, and seeing the colours and see people walking on the streets and seeing people with their scarves I think for me that's going to be absolutely the best bit."

Harry Kane scored a stoppage-time equaliser the last time England faced Scotland Credit: PA images

Seema Jaswal"Well it will be the first time I’ll be presenting the live match coverage at a major tournament for ITV so as you can imagine I’m super excited! I was part of the team in 2018 for the World Cup in Russia and I present the  Premier League’s global coverage every week but this is something special and I can’t wait! 

"In terms of the football, I think I'm most excited to see the fans back. We've had a taster of it with the FA Cup final and now the Premier League with the last two matches of the season, but sport is just not the same without the fans - they're the heartbeat. So to just see fans back at an international tournament, I am buzzing." 

Ian Wright"It’s been three years since the World Cup in Russia and with the really condensed domestic and European seasons over the last year, it feels like international football has been on the backburner. Last summer the Euros had to make way so that domestic seasons could be finished - it’s been too long since we’ve had a major international tournament. It’s the summer, there are loads of games at Wembley, we’ve got an exciting young England team and things feel like we are getting back to normal, what’s not to be excited about! I also love that there doesn’t seem to be an absolutely clear favourite for the tournament either. In previous Euros we have seen Spain, Germany or France go in as strong favourites, this time there are a clutch of five or six teams who are similar in strength and that group includes England. Euro 2016 had a surprise winner in Portugal and it’s very difficult to call who will win this tournament."

Gary Neville"I'm most looking forward to the tournament being based, or quite a few of the games being based in England. It's first time since Euro 96, of which I was a part, it is so special, the nation needs it - it's been a tough 12-months obviously with Covid and lockdowns and people's mental health, so the idea that we've got this home tournament almost whereby we can have all these games, England playing in Wembley, a great team, exciting team, a game against Scotland obviously which brings back the memories of the Euro 96 as well. So they are the things for me - getting the English crowd, the passion in the country, and particularly past June 21st when we should be able to have big crowds at Wembley Stadium and create an incredible atmosphere."

Gary Neville helped England to a semi-final place the last time the Euros were held at Wembley Credit: PA images

Roy Keane"Obviously after the frustrations of last season, I think we're all desperate again to see top-quality matches, particularly as I think there'll be supporters back in the stadiums, although not to their full capacity. I always look forward to seeing good teams and good players perform. With the frustrations of last year, I think people are looking forward to it even more than they were."

Graeme Souness"Right now, without knowing the possible match-ups beyond the group stages, it has to be England v Scotland at Wembley."

Eni Aluko"I'm most looking forward to the England games at Wembley, I don't think you can beat a home tournament. I know the Euros is meant to be around Europe but I don't think you can still get away from the fact that England, playing on home soil at Wembley in a major championship, you just can't beat it. I remember watching Euro 96 as a teenager, and that's etched in my memory now. So that's what I look forward to - I look forward to being at those games, I look forward to the energy and the excitement and the atmosphere - hopefully we can get more fans in the stadiums - and they're going to be the standout games, I think."

Robert Earnshaw"I think for me it's having the fans there, having an energy, an atmosphere in a stadium, a major celebration of football, and I think that's what I'm looking forward to most. For me being a striker, I'm excited for goals. I want to see as many goals as possible, I want to see exciting football, and I want to be entertained. I think we could see a real exhibition of football."

Thousands of Wales fans travelled to France to support their nation at Euro 2016 Credit: PA images

Sam Matterface"England-Scotland and the possibility of having supporters back in stadiums. Especially after the year we've had, I almost feel like this is a big reunion, a party to celebrate freedom and the return of some sort of normality."

Nadia Nadim'Well, there are plenty of things I’m looking forward to. I love watching football and watching big tournament games brings just a different level of excitement. I’m also excited to see how well the Danish national team is gonna do."

Lee Dixon"After the last 18 months or so it really is nice to get back to tournament football. There's nothing quite like it. I am most looking forward to the actual competition element of it. The build up, the expectations, the hope pre-tournament. The ups and downs. The shattered dreams. The whole experience. I think the pandemic has stolen that away from people. Football has done its best to keep hope alive."

Andros Townsend"I'm most looking forward to seeing a major tournament again especially with the potential of more fans being back in the stadiums, but I also think it's an added excitement for me personally with the majority of games being played at Wembley."

Wembley Stadium will host the semi-finals and final at Euro 2020 Credit: PA images

Who do you think will win the tournament and why?

Mark Pougatch"I think France will win it, I think obviously they've got the experience because they are the world champions, they've got a system that they all understand, they all play really well in. They have got so many good central defenders to choose from it's almost ridiculous. If they can have the Russian Pogba, then that's massive for them, and they have now decided they are going to pick Benzema again, so Benzema, Mbappe, Griezmann with Giroud as a backup is just phenomenal and I just think they're going to do exactly what they did 20 years ago when they won in 1998 and 2000. For me they are absolutely the team to beat." 

Seema Jaswal"My heart is with England! I just think at the moment we have a really exciting squad. It’s great to see so much talent across so many positions and this fills me with optimism. We learned a lot about ourselves in 2018 when we got to the semi finals of the World Cup, Gareth knows this group of players and they know themselves better than they ever have. It definitely helps playing the group games at Wembley, that home support could be the difference. 

"I think if you look at the 'Group of Death', Group F, you've got Germany, Portugal, France and Hungary. Portugal for me, the defending champions, look as if they could cause some damage, because if you look at that squad, wow! Okay, Ronaldo is Ronaldo, in a league of his own, but then you've got the likes of Bruno Fernandes, and you've got Dias, Cancelo, Silva - three players who have won the Premier League, and potentially even the Champions League. Joao Felix, a young talent to watch out for as well as a couple of Wolves players  Neves and Moutinho!  All of them, individually, are incredible players, so together they are a force to be reckoned with." So I do have a sneaky feeling about Portugal as well."

Portugal became European Championship winners for the first time in 2016 Credit: PA images

Ian Wright"England, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Croatia and Portugal will all be among the favourites. Portugal were considered dark horses when they won Euro 2016 but since then, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, João Cancelo, João Felix, Diogo Jota and Ruben Neves have become established stars at big clubs. Belgium have a lot of top players who are experienced and at around peak age, with de Bruyne (29), Courtois (29), Alderweireld (32), Hazard (30) and Lukaku (28) and that experience counts for a lot in international tournaments. Germany are playing their final tournament before the departure of Joachim Low but things seem to have long since gone stale under Low. France still seem a little dysfunctional and have drawn with Ukraine and lost to Finland recently. England have every chance of building on their strong World Cup showing and have more attacking talent than we know what to do with. I think Belgium and France's experience will really count for a lot and one of them will win it, but don’t write Italy off. They are on a run of 25 games unbeaten and have won their last six under Roberto Mancini. They have an exciting team with a good mix of experience with the likes of Bonucci, Chiellini, Verratti and Immobile dotted throughout the squad."

Gary Neville"I'm going to go with England - I don't know why - but I'm going to go with England because of the home tournament [aspect]. I think we will go a step further than the last World Cup where we got the semi-finals, I just think the momentum is with us. I do think we need to get Harry Maguire fit, keep Harry Kane fit, and then ultimately have little bit of good luck, and I think we can do it once and for all. Gareth Southgate is a brilliant manager for England, he knows how the best out of these players, and he knows how to win."

Roy Keane"There is no doubt that France are the team to beat but the team I'm going with, and I just have a sneaky feeling for them, is Italy. Obviously there are some brilliant teams in the tournament but I just think Italy, I look at their form for the last year or two, and we obviously know they're capable of turning up for the big tournaments.  I just have a feeling they're going to have a brilliant tournament, so Italy."

Graeme Souness"I can’t say who will win but [I think the] four semi finalists will be Spain, Portugal, England and France. Also don’t rule out the Germans or Italians to make the last four."

Will France go one step further than at Euro 2016? Credit: PA images

Eni Aluko"I actually think England will win. I think England have a really, really good chance of winning and they can win. And the reason I say that is because if you look at some of the top players for England, they're the top players in Europe right now. Whether that's Harry Kane, or Phil Foden, or guys like Mason Mount, you know, you've got two English teams in the Champions League final. They would have had experience of playing in big pressure games on the European stage. Even squad players like Jack Grealish and Declan Rice, Ben Chilwell at the back, Luke Shaw, they've all had really strong seasons with their teams. So I think England can win it, I genuinely do, and I don't think you can say the same for every other nation - in terms of the make-up of their teams, a) they don't have as much depth and b) they don't have as many players on form. So you look at Belgium, who are their best players, Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne. Hazard's barely played. Okay, Lukaku has won the league in Italy and De Bruyne in England but you look at those three players far more. I think England have got the best chance probably ever to win it."

Robert Earnshaw"I have probably two countries that I think will be favourites. I'd put Belgium in there as a big favourite and I actually have a strong feeling for Germany in this tournament. Of course, Portugal and France will be strong, especially looking at Portugal's team. Everybody is starting to see exactly how many top, top players they have. A lot of them have played in the Premier League as well as Ronaldo. But I think Belgium and Germany will be the teams to beat."

Sam Matterface"It's the most open tournament for a while. I think Belgium and France have the best squads, and England obviously have a chance because they've got good forward players. I do think that Italy, who were excellent in qualifying and very solid in the Nations League, will pose a problem for people."

Nadia Nadim"It's always hard to predict who is going to win, but there are a couple of favourites. As world champions, France are high on that list. They are probably keen to repeat the '1998 and 2000' spell, where they won the World Cup 1998 and then the Euros. Another favourite, in my book, to win the Euros, is England. They have a great team with a good mix of experienced players and young, hungry ones to prove themselves as players. The fact that the Premier League clubs have done so well in UEFA club competitions is also a reason why I see them as favourites. The players would come into the tournament with a lot of confidence. The last thing that makes me believe that England might go all the way is that the semi final and final are played in Wembley stadium. They have the talent and with a bit of momentum...it might 'come home'."

England are one of the favourites for Euro 2020 Credit: PA images

Lee Dixon"Why not England? We do realistically have a good chance so let's champion that. Harry Maguire being fit is quite pivotal. But with our attacking prowess we will hurt teams. Belgium and France for me pose a big threat though. So I will go England or France."

Andros Townsend"I'd obviously love to see England win it and I think they've got the players to do that this year but I also think that France and Belgium potentially have the players to go all the way."

How do you think England, Scotland and Wales will do?

Mark Pougatch"Well, England I fully expect to get out of the group. The reality is that they have got to play one of France, Germany or Portugal, probably, and that is going to be very tough, particularly if  they play France. Germany have not been brilliant and of course they got thumped by Spain the other day, but they are Germany. Portugal have got two or three really good players for every position, so I think the challenge really is on for England in the last 16 game, and ditto Scotland as well. I think Scotland, the manner in which they got through that the penalty shootout was just brilliant and that was so fantastic to watch and to see Scotland back in a major championship. And it is definitely a group they can get out of. And of course you can come third and get out of the group as well. So it is is definitely a group they can get out of - I don't know who they would play next because obviously it depends where they finish. As for Wales, well you look at our live game, the Italy game, which is the last game will be absolutely key. I think Ramsey needs to get fit because he hasn't been particularly fit and obviously he is key, and so is Bale, again it is very much group they can get out of. So actually I would expect all three to get out of their groups."

"For England I think Kane is absolutely key. We all know the injury problems he has had over the last few years and obviously this season. England are blessed with so many good at attacking players but they've only really got Kane in terms of an outstanding centre-forward. Calvert-Lewin is very good, but he's not in Kane's league, or Watkins or whoever else they would choose, it would probably be Calvert-Lewin. But no-one is in Kane's league - he didn't win the Golden Boot for nothing. I mean, he's had a phenomenal season - assists and goals. Keeping Kane fit is absolutely critical. There are lots of different options in the wide areas - Sterling, Rashford, Foden, Sancho, Grealish - but there's only one Harry Kane."

Harry Kane could well be England's chief goal threat Credit: PA Images

Seema Jaswal"I was reading the other day that Andy Robertson, Scotland’s captain, was four years old the last time they reached a major tournament and that was the World Cup in 1998! So of course you've got a completely different team now and you've got a lot of talent again - Tierney, McGinn, Robertson, Che Adams, to name a handful - I think it's an exciting time for Scotland and one thing they do have is great spirit and character. They are in the same group as England, and that match in itself is hard once to call because it's a derby but I'd like to see England and Scotland both qualify from Group D.

"Wales defied all odds when they got to the semi-finals last time out, nobody expected them to get that far. Again, I think they're in a tough group with Turkey, Italy and Switzerland. This team defied the odds last time out and have the character to do the same again.”

Ian Wright"Wales are in Group A with Turkey, Italy and Switzerland. Getting out of the group will be their aim. If they get through they will likely draw one of Denmark, Finland or Russia in the Round of 16. They will quietly consider getting out of the group their first aim and may even have ambitions of a quarter-final spot. That said, their biggest players, Ramsey and Bale, have had underwhelming seasons at club level. It could mean they are fresh for the tournament but neither is in tip top form.

"Scotland are in Group D with England, Croatia and Czech Republic and realistically, they will probably be playing for third spot in that group with the Czechs. However, the England game is a derby and if they can raise themselves enough to get a result, they could give themselves a chance of getting through. It’s a tough group, they will do well to get out of it.

Scotland celebrate reaching UEFA Euro 2020

"England should have designs on winning it and we shouldn’t be shy about it with the attacking quality we have. Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson would be big misses in leadership terms if they do not make the tournament. If we top the group, we will probably play one of France, Germany or Portugal (from Group F- the ‘group of death’) which would be very tough. Finishing second will probably give us one of Sweden, Poland or Slovakia so we will probably be better served finishing runners-up. I’m not saying we target second but sometimes you need this kind of luck in big tournaments. We should aim for the semi-finals and go from there."

Gary Neville"I think England will do really well - as I just said, I think they'll win it, I think Scotland will demonstrate some great spirit, it'll be fantastic to see their fans in the stadium if we can get them in there, but I think they will struggle in terms of quality, and I don't think they'll qualify for the knockout phase. Wales, I think they will do well, they are a really talented young group, they have got matchwinners in Bale and Ramsey, and they've obviously got pace in and around them. They have got a good system of play. I think Wales will do pretty well and I think they will get to the knockout phase, but I think then they'll struggle to get past that."

Roy Keane"Obviously I think England have a great chance of certainly getting to the semi-final or the final. I fully expect England to be in the latter stages of the competition, which is what you'd obviously expect on their home patch, the games at Wembley, some supporters back in the stadium, the players they've got, and the good thing is Gareth Southgate has been saying recently he wants the team to be looking to win the competition, he's not played it down by saying, 'Ah well, if we can get out of the group…' He fully expects England to be in the semi-final or the final of the competition, so I fully expect England as I said to be definitely in the semi-finals, at least, with the players they have.

"I think Scotland have a chance of getting out of the group and then after that would need a bit of luck.  It will be difficult but I think they have a chance. Scotland fans will no doubt be looking at the England game but it’s vital they get at least a draw in their first group game.

England and Scotland met at Wembley at Euro 96

"I think it will be tough for Wales, it's a tough draw for them, they'll need obviously their top players, Bale and Ramsey, to be at their very, very best, but I think it will be a struggle for Wales."

Graeme Souness"Out of the home nations, I think England will make it out of the group stages, and they’ll go on to the semis. Scotland COULD get out as well through third place, and I don’t back Wales considering their group."

Eni Aluko"Scotland obviously are in England's group, and that's a tough group for them, because they've got very little tournament experience. Wales I think may have a better chance, because they've got players like Gareth Bale in the team, and because of their group."

Robert Earnshaw"Scotland I think looking at them, they might struggle, I can't see them getting out of the groups, unfortunately. With England, I actually see them doing very, very well. Listen, the talent that they have, the players, the individual ability that they have, I think they could be quarter finals to semi finals, I believe. I think they will be disappointed if they don't get to the semi-finals at least. With Wales, what I'm hoping for is a surprise exactly like 2016, the last Euros, when we got to the semi-finals. I don't think anybody expected anything from Wales last time, the first tournament in such a long time, but we surprised everybody, played some good football, scored some great goals, and that's what I'm hoping for with Wales. And I think they're capable of it - they're more experienced - Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey have more experience, we've got Joe Allen back, hopefully, who is a big factor in that, as well as a young group who hopefully will just have no fear. So I can see us going out of the group and surprising a lot of people, but we do have a tough group with Switzerland, Turkey and Italy. So number one, we will be going there to enjoy it but number two, the bonus will be surprising everybody else."

Wales celebrate after knocking Belgium out of Euro 2016

Nadia Nadim"England are going to do great. Scotland are also going to play some games in front of a home crowd which would give them an advantage. I could see them making it from group D as best three, but I just don’t think they have the squad to go further. I know that Wales had an amazing run in Euro 2016, reaching the semi-finals. But I can’t see that happening again. I would say that they have the squad to go a bit further than Scotland (with some luck) but I don’t believe more than that. With all that said, you can always predict and guess a lot of things, but the reason that this game is so loved and so amazing is because it’s so unpredictable. The ball is round and anything can happen. I’m just excited to watch all the games that I can."

Lee Dixon"Scotland will ride the wave of qualifying as long as they can. Great achievement. If they get out of the group then that would be seen as a big plus. As for Wales with the quality they have in Bale and Ramsay mixed with the young welsh stars they will be a threat. They must be looking forward to it just like we all are."

Andros Townsend"It would be great to see all three do well, on paper England have the better players but as we all know, in these tournaments anyone is capable of beating anyone!"

Logo of ITV Football
itv |