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Euro 2024: Group C preview and team guide

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The European Championship is round the corner and ahead of the action we have profiled each of the 24 competing teams.

Group C contains tournament favourites England, who meet Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia.

Euro 2024: Group C preview and team guide

Slovenia

  • Head coach: Matjaz Kek
  • Key player: Jan Oblak
  • One to watch: Benjamin Sesko
  • FIFA Ranking: 55th
  • Best Euro performance: Group stage (2000)

Slovenia are back in a major tournament for the first time in 14 years and will feature at just their second European Championship this summer. Matjaz Kek’s side impressed in qualification to finish behind group winners Denmark only on their head-to-head record, with an unbeaten home record key to their success.

Jan Oblak captains the side and adds a world-class last line of defence, with the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper regarded as one of the best shot-stoppers in the game. Benjamin Sesko will be one to watch and has caught the eye of the Premier League’s top clubs, following a successful debut season at RB Leipzig.

Big Oblak stop 🧤#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/vt7QYz8kHf

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) October 17, 2023

The 21-year-old scored 14 goals in 17 league starts for Leipzig in 2023-24 with only Harry Kane and Serhou Guirassy bettering his average of a goal every 109 minutes (8+ goals).

Elsewhere, Tomi Horvat and Jon Gorenc Stanković will hope to make an impression after forming part of the Sturm Graz side that won the Austrian Bundesliga, ending Red Bull Salzburg’s decade of dominance, this season.

Denmark

  • Head coach: Kasper Hjulmand
  • Key player: Rasmus Hojlund
  • One to watch: Andreas Skov Olsen
  • FIFA Ranking: 21st
  • Best Euro performance: Champions (1992)

With solid centre-back options, midfielders at comfort in possession, and exciting options further forward, Denmark have the potential to be awkward opposition for any side this summer despite the disaster of their 2022 World Cup campaign.

Having reached the semi-finals at Euro 2020, their best tournament performance since winning the 1992 European Championship in shock fashion, the Danes exited the World Cup in Qatar with a whimper, failing to win a game in an ordinary group containing Australia and Tunisia.

Kasper Hjulmand’s side regrouped to qualify for the Euros in top spot and the emergence of Rasmus Hojlund has excited. The 21-year-old scored seven goals in qualification, including a hat-trick against Finland, and has shown real potential during a debut season at Manchester United that has delivered 16 goals.

Denmark star Rasmus Højlund joins @ManUtd 🔏

He’s currently joint top scorer in EURO qualifying ⚽ 🇩🇰#EURO2024 @dbulandshold pic.twitter.com/NJZ3kXGo49

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) August 5, 2023

Andreas Skov Olsen is our one to watch. Still just 24, the highly-regarded winger comes into the tournament on the back of a 24-goal season for Club Brugge.

Serbia

  • Head coach: Dragan Stojkovic
  • Key player: Aleksandar Mitrovic
  • One to watch: Lazar Samardžić
  • FIFA Ranking: 33rd
  • Best Euro performance: Runners-up (1960, 1968)

Serbia seems to have been touted as a dark horse for several tournaments in recent years, though a talented crop has underwhelmed on the big stage. This will be their first European Championship since 2000, while each of their last four World Cup appearances have ended in the group stage.

For several of the side, this could be the last chance to make an impression at a European Championship. The star names, Sergej Milinković-Savić and Aleksandar Mitrovic, are nearing 30, while captain Dusan Tadic will celebrate his 36th birthday in November.

Vlahović 🇷🇸😤#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/Z1dkNLUWvM

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) January 9, 2024

Of the next generation, Dusan Vlahovic finished as runner-up for the Capocannoniere award handed to Serie A’s leading scorer this season, while Lazar Samardžić is catching the eye at Udinese. The latter represented Germany at u-21 level before switching his allegiance to Serbia.

England

  • Head coach: Gareth Southgate
  • Key player: Harry Kane
  • One to watch: Kobbie Mainoo
  • FIFA Ranking: 4th
  • Best Euro performance: Runners-up (2020)

While it’s not quite now-or-never territory for England, this certainly feels like their best shot at winning a major tournament for some time. England have arguably the best players in La Liga (Jude Bellingham), the Bundesliga (Harry Kane) and Premier League (Phil Foden) this season in their ranks and experience of coming close in recent tournaments.

Much has been made of Gareth Southgate’s win rate against FIFA’s top-ranked nation, which stands at just over 30%. However, only three teams – France, Spain and Belgium – can better that with the Three Lions better than Portugal, Italy, Croatia and the Netherlands in such games.

Kane races clear ⚽️#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/GD2KjFY4O2

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) October 19, 2023

The major question marks around England are defensively. Luke Shaw’s race-against-time to be fit means there are doubts over who plays at left-back, while Harry Maguire – who has maintained first-choice status under Southgate – has also struggled for fitness.

However, England will have one focus and that is winning this tournament. Anything but reaching the final will be viewed as a disappointment for the Three Lions.

Read – Euro 2000 – Zidane’s zenith as France reign supreme

See more – Iconic Performances: Monstrous Arshavin leaves the Dutch reeling at Euro 2008

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