Hostilities as Euro 2024 kicks off

All eyes back in the UK will be on England and Scotland, who are flying the flags for the home nations at this summer’s tournament.

Scotland have been drawn in a tough group with hosts Germany, Switzerland and Hungary.

They are the lowest-ranked side in the group and will come up against a vociferous home crowd in Munich for the tournament opener.

It is just a fourth Euros appearance for Steve Clarke’s side but, after a strong qualifying campaign, they will hope to cause an upset.

The Scots lost just one of their eight qualifying matches, finishing second in Group A behind Spain, having taken four points from challengers Norway.

They ended a 23-year absence from major tournaments in 2021 and Clarke has now become the first manager to guide the Scots to successive European finals.

Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate’s men, ranked fourth in the world, head to Germany as one of the big favourites having reached the final last time around.

Under Southgate, the Three Lions have made it through to at least the quarter-finals in all three major tournaments – but is this the year they finally go all the way?

Jude Bellingham is one of the stars of the tournament, having recently helped Real Madrid win the Champions League trophy, while captain Harry Kane had a brilliant individual campaign, netting 44 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions during his debut season with Bayern Munich. Manchester City’s Phil Foden was also named the Premier League’s Player of the Season after winning the title.

England face Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia in their group and will hope to get off to a strong start, having underwhelmed in their final warm-up match at Wembley – a shock 1-0 defeat by Icelankicks.

BBC