Euro 2016 predictions from beIN Sports experts

Time Out has a Richard Keys interview, Andy Gray interview and Thomas Sorensen interview, with the expects all offering their Euro 2016 predictions

Euro 2016 predictions from beIN Sports experts
Richard Keys

Senior Football Anchor for beIN Sports

Who are the favourites?
France have got be favourites. Whatever anybody says, it’s a huge advantage to be the hosts. France have the quality, they know the nature of winning; I think being home nation will give them a tremendous lift.

Who will be the surprise package?
I’d like to see Chris Coleman and Wales go well. They say there’s no such thing as a one-man team [referring to Wales forward Gareth Bale] but look at Manchester United the year Robin van Persie won them the title. That was proven the year after Sir Alex Ferguson left when they fell apart. But I would love to see Wales go well, and Gareth Bale who took them there single-handedly. I’d love to see both the Irelands do well. I think the biggest disappointment is that Scotland didn’t qualify and we could’ve had the full set.

Player to watch?
I think [England’s] Harry Kane will go well. He’s one I’m really looking forward to seeing.

How will England get on?
I’d like to think England have got something but I suspect we’ll go as usual with the barnstorming expectation that we’ll win it without needing to play and then let ourselves down. But I hope not. I like the job Roy Hodgson’s done, I like what he’s got. We’ve got some really exciting players and if we went and played like Leicester I wouldn’t be unhappy. Just play like England, find an identity. Play like Leicester, be the antidote to the pass and pass and pass, this extremely tedious style that many have. I do hope this time that there is something to be excited about. I wouldn’t set targets, but a semi-final would be progress. In fact, getting out of the group would be progress.

Andy Gray

Senior Football Analyst for beIN Sports

Who are the favourites?
I think [France] will get lifted. I was there in ’98 in France [when France won the World Cup] and without a doubt, the passion of the nation lifted the team to unbelievable heights. They had some wonderful players in that side as well, but they still have some wonderful players in the team they’ve got now, so I think they’ll definitely be a threat. You have to look at them as potential winners.

You cannot ignore Germany because they always turn up tournament ready. I don’t know about Spain. They’re kind of going through a little period where they’re getting it done but they’re just getting it done. They’re not as flamboyant as they used to be, but you still have to respect them.

Are Belgium going to turn up at a tournament, at last? Are they going to perform to the potential that we all believe they have? This would be the time to do it.

Maybe in his last tournament, will Cristiano Ronaldo drive Portugal on to victory? I think there are some fascinating questions here.

Who will be the surprise package?
I think it’s a tough European Championships to call. I think there are some teams there that could surprise us. Even if you look at the likes of Turkey, you would never normally think they’d be in with a chance, but if you look at their ranking in world football right now it’s probably the highest it’s ever been, and so I think someone like that could really surprise us.

Could Austria or could Iceland, who qualified ever so well, surprise us all? Could the Republic of Ireland come from nowhere? We all know it’s possible, especially if look at what they did against Germany in qualifying, you can’t discount them, but they’re in a tough group.

Player to watch?
I think Harry Kane. I think it’s one thing having a good Premier League season, but it’s another thing taking that into a big international championship and showing people just how good you are.

I’m excited to see how Paul Pogba deals with a massive tournament. And I’m looking forward to seeing Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] on what will probably be his bow out as major player in a Euros for Sweden. Can he just do what he’s always done and drive his team to the knockout stages? I’m fascinated to see that.

How will England get on?
England have got a chance – I don’t often say that. It’s a tough group. Russia are not great but they’re tough. If Wales’s best team turns up they’re going to be very hard to beat. I think they’ll all expect to beat Slovakia and if England, Wales or Russia don’t, it could be very costly. I think England will go through but who they get in the knockout stages will define how far they go.

Thomas Sorensen

Melbourne City goalkeeper and former Denmark international with 101 caps

Who are the favourites?
I think it’s going to be the same teams who are always challenging: Spain, Germany and France. I think France have a great chance, especially playing at home, which always helps.

Who will be the surprise package?
There’s always going to be a surprise, more so now with there being 24 teams. It’s hard to predict. There’s bound to be someone who comes from nowhere in the Euros and causes an upset.

How will England get on?
I think they’ve got a good chance. They’re not one of the favourites but, again, they’re definitely one of the outsiders with potential. I think they’ve got a young team that is enthusiastic and if they get it right, they can go far.

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