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Euro 2024 Group C preview & best bet

Updated on 9:51pm GMT 5 June 2024
Euro 2024 Group C preview & best bet

Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.

After a deep-dive into Group B – the closest Euro 2024 has to a group of death – it’s time to look at England’s opposition in Group C. Fortunately for Gareth Southgate and co. this looks set to be a pretty straightforward affair.

Denmark, Serbia and Slovenia are the sides hoping to shock the Euro 2020 runners-up, but how well-equipped are they to topple the Three Lions? You can see the low-down on all four Group C sides below, while we have plenty more Euro 2024 content on our tournament hub.


Euro 2024 Group C preview

Slovenia

Manager: Matjaz Kek

Star Man: Jan Oblak

Best Euro’s Finish: Group Stage (2000)

With their sole finals appearance coming in 2000, Slovenia are undoubtedly the underdogs in Group C but their qualifying performances indicate that they are not just here to make up the numbers.

Slovenia finished second in Group H behind Denmark on head-to-head record only, while they ended their qualification journey with the both the best attack and defensive record in their group – scoring 20 goals and conceding nine.

20-year-old striker Benjamin Sesko was the star up top for Slovenia with five goals in qualifying and he will be looking to make a name for himself in Germany with a number of clubs linked with a move for the Leipzig man in the summer, while they possess one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world in Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak.

The minnows – ranked 57th in the world – have lost just two of their last 19 international fixtures and also claimed an impressive 2-0 friendly victory over a strong Portugal side in March – featuring the likes of Joao Felix, Ruben Neves and Cristiano Ronaldo.


Denmark

Manager: Kasper Hjulmand

Star Man: Rasmus Hojlund

Best Euro’s Finish: Champions (1992)

Denmark have been a regular mainstay on the continental scene since making their tournament debut in 1964, failing to qualify for just two of the last ten finals dating back to 1984.

The shock winners 1992 – famously lifting the trophy after initially failing to qualify for the tournament itself – made the semi-finals of the 2020 edition before falling to eventual runners-up England, who they will face in Group C.

Manager Kasper Hjulmand may leave out a number of the old guard, with the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Mathias Jorgensen and Simon Kjaer all not assured of places. A lack of depth at the back could prove costly, with four of the eight defenders named in his most recent squad totalling no more than nine caps.

On the plus side, goals should be easier to come by and we like Rasmus Hojlund’s 33/1 price to win the Golden Boot.


Serbia

Manager: Dragan Stojkovic

Star Man: Aleksandar Mitrovic

Best Euro’s Finish: Never Qualified

This is Serbia’s first appearance at the European Championships since becoming an independent nation in 2006 however they have more than enough experience on the global stage, having qualified for three of the last four World Cups.

The Eagles finished second in what was a favourable qualification group behind Hungary, with a victory over fellow former Yugoslavian state Montenegro in their penultimate fixture all but ensuring their place in Germany.

Despite not being regulars on the continental stage, Serbia possesses a wealth of recognisable talent amongst their ranks. Former Newcastle and Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is the country’s all-time top goalscorer while former Southampton midfielder Dusan Tadic leads the way in appearances for the Eagles.

They are managed by Dragan Stojkovic – affectionately known as “Piksi” – and the 59-year-old could be under pressure to reach the knockout stages after finishing bottom of their World Cup group in 2022 – behind Brazil, Cameroon and rivals Switzerland.


England

Manager: Gareth Southgate

Star Man: Jude Bellingham

Best Euro’s Finish: Runners-up (2020)

Penalty shootout heartbreak denied England a first-ever European Championship as they fell to Italy at Wembley in the last edition of this tournament and Gareth Southgate will be hoping to go one step further in Germany.

England are one of the pre-tournament favourites and it is easy to see why given the attacking depth that Southgate has at his disposal. Captain Harry Kane netted 36 goals in the Bundesliga this season, Phil Foden was named Premier League Player of the Year and Jude Bellingham starred in his debut season with Real Madrid with 25 goal contributions in 27 appearances.

A dominant qualification display saw England finish top of Group C without defeat, six points clear of the second-placed Italians, while only France and Portugal conceded fewer goals in qualifying than the Three Lions’ tally of four.

England’s three group stage fixtures sees Gareth Southgate’s side travel to Gelsenkirchen (Denmark), Frankfurt (Serbia) and Cologne (Slovenia), providing a different tournament environment after playing each of their opening games at Wembley in Euro 2020.

Topping the table will be of vital importance for the Three Lions with a round of 16 tie against one the best third-placed sides in store, while finishing as Group C runners-up would see them face the winners of Group A – expected to be the hosts Germany.


Group C Best Bet

Slovenia to qualify from Group C

With England heavy favourites to make it out of Group C, there’s little value in siding with the Three Lions. Slovenia are one of the bigger prices to qualify for the last 16 having been largely written off, but they competed well with Denmark in qualifying.

When you consider that Serbia have been eliminated at the group stage of every tournament they’ve attended as an independent nation, there’s certainly an opening for Slovenia. In Sesko they have a proven scorer and Oblak can help them stand up to their opposition. With narrow margins deciding which 16 of the 24 sides progress, it could also be key that Slovenia meet England in their third game, when the Three Lions will likely be safely through.


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