England 7/24.50 to win Euro 2024
Bettors keep faith despite poor performances
France 4/15.00 and Germany 6/17.00 next in the betting
England are 7/24.50 favourites to win Euro 2024 after an excellent qualifying campaign stuttered to a disappointing conclusion with a 1-1 draw in North Macedonia.
Coming after an underwhelming 2-0 defeat of Malta, Gareth Southgate's team were 1-0 down at half-time and needed to introduce captain Harry Kane from the bench. The Bayern Munich forward forced Jani Atanasov into scoring an own goal that levelled the match and that was how it ended.
England made light work of a group that also included Italy, who made it through last night in second place, and their performance across the eight matches justifies their favouritism at next summer's finals in Germany.
Euro 2024 favs England enjoy strong campaign
One year ago, England were preparing for their first World Cup match in Qatar. They were knocked out in the quarter-finals by France and, if you had asked Southgate then if he would take an unbeaten Euro 2024 qualifying campaign (W6D2), he would have said yes.
England's performances in qualifying, particularly their two wins over Italy, suggest they have moved on from their World Cup disappointment. Their Euro 2024 odds show that their performances have rekindled fans' optimism.
Southgate's team qualified for Germany with two matches to spare and a lacklustre Wembley win over Malta, followed by last night's draw when the manager fielded an under-strength team, should not take away from that achievement.
None of which is to say that Southgate does not have big decisions to make. England's first-half struggles against North Macedonia highlighted their problems in defence (the Harry Maguire question is back on the agenda) and how reliant they are on Kane in attack.
Southgate will also hope Jude Bellingham does not see a recurrence of the shoulder injury that kept him out of the squad.
The Real Madrid man has become a key player for England in the past 12 months but they must be careful with him. The ACL injury that Gavi sustained playing for Spain last night showed what can happen when a team puts a youngster at the heart of their plans.
France lead chasing pack of usual suspects
Spain are 7/18.00 after topping their qualifying group ahead of Scotland. France 4/15.00 are second favourites to win the Euros and hosts Germany, who play Austria in a friendly tonight, are 6/17.00 after they dispensed with Hanse Flick's services and brought in Julian Nagelsmann as head coach.
Holders Italy, who beat England on penalties in the Euro 2020 final, are 14/115.00.
Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland cannot qualify but Wales can still go through automatically. They have a huge match at home to Turkey, who are already through to Germany, tonight in Cardiff.
If Wales do not finish second in their group they will go through to the qualifying play-offs which will be played in March.
The draw for Euro 2024 is on 2 December. The teams that have already qualified are:
Germany (hosts), Albania, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey.