Manchester United legend and former England international Gary Neville has made his winners prediction ahead of Euro 2020.
The tournament, starting on Friday, will take place across 11 major European cities after being delayed a year due to the pandemic.
Twenty-four teams containing the continents’ best players will compete in the 16th edition of the Championships, all of whom will be hoping to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy.
Neville represented the Three Lions at five major tournaments during his playing days, racking up 85 caps over 22 years.
The ex-United right-back was part of a so-called ‘golden generation’ of English footballers in the early to mid-2000s but they failed to lift a trophy or reach a semi-final.
England now have another batch of talent to vie for silverware with under the guidance of Gareth Southgate, and the pundit has made his prediction for who’ll reign victorious at Wembley on July 11.
Although confidence among his home nation is high, Neville has backed World Cup holders France to win the tournament, having lost in the final in 2016.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Football Euros podcast, the 46-year-old admitted: “I can’t look past France, really. I just can’t.
“The experience, winning mentality, personalities they’ve got, pace and goals, clever, intelligent; you think they could play in any type of game, that French team.”
Despite the fact the Euro 2000 winners boast players from a range of clubs and leagues, Neville believes it’s Les Blues’ ability to adapt that makes them dangerous.
“They could play against a team that’s more direct, a team that’s sat off them, a team that tries to control possession.
“It’s an adaptable team,” he said of Didier Deschamps’ side.
“I don’t think they would concern themselves with whoever they’re playing.
“Physically they’re strong, mentally they’re strong, and I think if you’re finishing in front of France, you’re winning it.”
Although France failed to make home advantage count as hosts five years ago, Neville says Southgate and co can thrive off potentially playing all of their matches at Wembley.
“It would take a lot of luck, one extraordinary effort, things to go their way, but I’m going to say in a Wembley Stadium full of English fans on the right day,” he pondered.
“We saw Chelsea do Man City last week, so if you think that was very unlikely to most people before the game, this could certainly happen.”
As one of the favourites alongside the likes of France, Belgium, and holders Portugal, the Three Lions are tipped to build on their semi-final tilt in Russia.
Neville affirmed that the experience of reaching the final four will prompt a change in mentality, stating: “I don’t think England winning would be a shock or a surprise.
“After getting to a World Cup semi-final three years ago, now there is expectation on them,” explained former Valencia manager.
“They’re not going there thinking ‘I hope we get to the quarter-finals’, there’s an expectation because of what they did three years ago.”
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Neville continued: “The fact the players are there with the talent we have, and the question is over Harry Maguire, but I’d say the expectation should be to get to the semi-final or the final.
“That’s what they’re used to.
“They’ve lived in that World Cup in Moscow, they’ll be thinking they can do it again.”