It is early days in the 2019/20 English Premier League season but already the league table is starting to take a familiar shape.
Ahead of the Euros in France, betting agencies have installed France, Germany, Spain, England and Belgium as favourites.
These five are followed by less likely winners Portugal and Italy.
Hosts France have the likes of Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and N’Golo Kante, all of whom can make a big difference. Kante was a major player in Leicester City’s English Premier league victory, while Payet assisted West Ham into a seventh-placed finish. Pogba, meanwhile, has been a consistent gun for years, with Juventus winning the Serie A.
World Cup winners Germany have included world-class players Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer. Muller has shown excellent attacking attributes for Bundesliga champions FC Bayern Munich, Neuer has already assisted Germany and FC Bayern to many trophies, while Ozil has excellent vision, passing and dribbling skills.
Spain had a disappointing World Cup campaign but still have enough talent to leave out players such as Diego Costa, Santi Cazorla, Hector Bellerin and Fernando Torres. Sergio Ramos, David Silva and Cesc Fabregas possess the skills to take Spain all the way.
Cesc has been a great player for a long time, Ramos has always been a strong and dominant central defender, and Silva is always finding small spaces and impossible through balls for Manchester City.
England, who have been known to underachieve on the international stage, have surprised by including Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford over the experienced Theo Walcott and Jermain Defoe.
Finally, Belgium have an extremely talented team. Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku playing alongside each other is a scary prospect for opposition. Hazard had a disappointing season for former EPL champions Chelsea, although his amazing skills mean he was always guaranteed a spot in the side. City import Kevin De Bruyne has shown outstanding ability, while Everton striker Lukaku finished third in scoring.
I’m backing Germany or France to take out this year’s Euros, although surprises are always possible – Cristiano Ronaldo could take Portugal to glory, or perhaps Italy’s experienced squad can get the job done.