In terms of footballing prestige, few tournaments can match the iconic World Cup. However, the UEFA European Championship runs a very close second.

Every four years, the best that Europe has to offer converges on the host country to battle it out for the Henri Delaunay Trophy.

For 2024, that country is Germany, where 24 teams, divided into six groups, will go head-to-head from June 14 until only one team is left standing on July 14, as the winners.

It’s a massive tournament with hundreds of millions of viewers around the world tuning in, and for many, having a flutter on their home country will only add to the fun of the games.

In the betting markets, France and England are currently joint-favourites with many bookmakers, though some have England narrowly ahead to win the tournament outright. However, it’s worth noting the bookies are UK-based, which could be influencing the odds due to the strong home support for England.

Betting on Euro 2024 is a little different from regular club soccer bets insofar as the markets are time-limited, the odds are generally shorter, and there is the addition of elimination and Group betting.

It also helps if you have footballing knowledge that extends beyond the Premier League because 23 of the teams involved are not England, and each have their own star players, incredible defenders, and nuances that may not be as widely known but could prove the undoing of some of the top teams.

So, as we look at how France might fare in Euro 2024 and whether they deserve the status of tournament joint-favourites, we will also determine if England has what it takes to go one place further than in 2021, a year when the event was pushed back due to COVID-19.

France and the Euros

The sheer talent of the French team is unquestionable. It is a country steeped in football glory and one that has produced talents such as Zinedine Zidane, Kylian Mbappe, Michel Platini, Didier Deschamps, and Thierry Henry over the years.

They are always a threat, and Euro 2024 will be no different. Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, and Kylian Mbappe, who looks set to move to Real Madrid in the summer, are all ready to line up as they take on Poland, Netherlands, and Austria in Group D.

Historically, France has been quite successful in this tournament, with two wins and a second place to stand alongside their two World Cup wins in 1998 and 2018.

1984 – First Triumph on Home Soil

France’s first major international trophy came in the 1984 European Championship.

The tournament was hosted in France, and the team, led by the legendary Michel Platini, dominated the competition.

Platini scored a record nine goals in five matches, showcasing his exceptional talent.

They secured their first European Championship title when they beat Spain 2-0 in the final, with goals from Platini and Bruno Bellone.

2000 – The Golden Goal Victory

It took another 16 years before France found themselves back and competing for the title.

This time around, it was in 2000, when the Euros was co-hosted by Belgium and Netherlands.

The French team, brimming with talent with players like Zidane, Henry, and Deschamps, went up against an on-form Italy squad and were trailing 1-0 until Sylvain Wiltord scored an equaliser in injury time.

The match went into extra time, where David Trezeguet scored the golden goal, sealing a 2-1 victory for France.

This win made France the reigning champions of both the World Cup (1998) and the European Championship, a rare and prestigious double.

2016 – Heartbreak in the Final

Home soil always boosts a country, and the 2016 European Championship was no different with France, the hosts, making it all the way to the final.

However, despite being the favourites, they were defeated 1-0 by Portugal in the final, with a goal from Eder in extra time.

This loss was a significant disappointment, but it highlighted France’s consistent ability to reach the later stages of the tournament.

How Does England Stack Up Against France?

Team coach Gareth Southgate has had to make some incredibly difficult decisions in the run-up to this tournament, with many fans unhappy about his decision to leave both Marcus Rashford and Premier League winner Jack Grealish at home for the competition.

Despite this, he goes to Germany with a robust squad and one that is being tipped to win it outright, should things go as planned.

Of course, nothing always goes the expected way, and this competition has a habit of throwing up red herrings that nobody saw coming. However, Group C is not the worst by any means with England due to face Slovenia, Denmark, and Serbia.

But before you start predicting huge goal numbers, just remember that back in Euro 2020, England scored only TWO goals in the group stages.

It was enough to top the group, but it wasn’t a goal-scoring fest by any stretch of the imagination.

That said, this time around, Jude Bellingham is playing midfield, and that young man knows how to find the back of the net in even the most tense of situations.

All eyes will be fixed firmly on the Real Madrid player as he dons the England shirt and aims to add a Euros medal to his Champions League winners medal, which would round off a perfect football year.

Head-to-Head

France has a depth of talent at almost every position. Their squad includes world-class players like Kylian Mbappe and N’Golo Kante.

While England also boasts strong players like Harry Kane, Declan Rice, and Kyle Walker, as well as youngsters such as Bellingham and Kobbie Mainoo, France’s depth is generally considered superior.

France reached the finals in 2016 and won the World Cup in 2018, whereas England, while having a strong run in 2020, has not been as consistent in recent international tournaments.

In recent encounters between France and England, France has had the upper hand, often winning or drawing in key matches.

Case in point is the last time they met competitively when France beat England 2-1 in the quarterfinal of the 2022 World Cup.

So can Didier Deschamps’s France add another trophy to their cabinet on July 14, or will England finally bring home some silverware under the guidance of manager Gareth Southgate?

Only seven games stand between them and victory, and it’s all to play for.