Euro 2024 Preview: The Players You Need to Know

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Euro 2024: Players to Watch

In the latest episode of the AEye Scouted podcast on AnfieldIndex, Dave Hendrick and Karl Matchett discuss the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament and share their insights on the players to watch. Here are some key takeaways from their conversation.

England’s Lineup Dilemmas

Karl Matchett and Dave Hendrick discuss the intricacies of England’s potential lineup. Hendrick points out, “I don’t think Grealish is going to go,” citing his underwhelming season. He also emphasizes the importance of form, suggesting that Anthony Gordon should be considered for a starting position due to his exceptional end-of-season performance: “I’d be tempted to start him in the opening game to be honest.”

Matchett further explores the defensive setup, expressing concerns over the traditional choices. “I can’t get on board with a defence that includes Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, and Kieran Trippier,” he says, suggesting that the future lies with younger talents like Levi Colwill and Marc Guehi.

France’s Defensive Conundrum

The discussion shifts to France, where both pundits see a formidable team with a significant caveat. Matchett is sceptical about Dayot Upamecano’s reliability, labelling him as part of “The Bozo Team” due to his propensity for costly mistakes. Hendrick concludes, “If Upamecano has a bad tournament, France will go nowhere.”

Despite these concerns, there’s optimism about other talents. Hendrick highlights Antonio Silva as a key player, stating, “I think he’s going to be like the next great centre-back.”

Midfield Stars in the Making

The podcast also spotlights midfielders poised to make an impact. Matchett praises Portugal’s Vitinha, describing his growth under PSG’s Enrique: “The amount of work that he gets through… he put some of those other players to shame.” Despite this, he believes Bernardo Silva should start alongside João Palhinha in the midfield.

Hendrick believes Jude Bellingham’s performance will be crucial for England: “Jude would need to have a big, big tournament for England to win it.”

Goalkeeping Concerns and Key Strikers

Both pundits agree on the pivotal role goalkeepers will play. France’s hopes hinge significantly on Mike Maignan’s fitness. “If it’s not Maignan, I don’t like them as much,” says Hendrick. This sentiment underscores the thin margin for error at this level of competition.

In the forward line, there’s a recurring theme of balancing star power with team efficiency. Hendrick bluntly states, “Cristiano Ronaldo makes every team he plays in worse,” advocating for a younger, more dynamic option up front for Portugal. Matchett supports this, suggesting Rafael Leão could shine if given the chance.

Dark Horses and Rising Stars

The conversation isn’t limited to the usual suspects. Both pundits highlight several potential breakout stars. Matchett points to Georgia’s Georges Mikautadze, praising his ability to keep FC Metz competitive almost single-handedly: “He’s a good centre forward… he basically kept them out of the automatic relegation spots single-handedly.”

For Belgium, Hendrick opts for Amadou Onana, seeing him as a player whose physicality could dominate the slower pace of international football. Similarly, Karl sees potential in Jeremy Doku, although he warns of his inconsistency.

Conclusion

As Euro 2024 approaches, Dave Hendrick and Karl Matchett’s insights on AEye Scouted provide a comprehensive guide to the players who could define the tournament. From England and France’s tactical dilemmas to the emerging talents from less heralded teams, the tournament promises a showcase of football’s future stars. Stay tuned to the AEye Scouted podcast for more in-depth analysis and updates as the tournament progresses.

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