Book the flights because we’re going to Gelsenkirchen, Frankfurt and Cologne. That’s right, the draw for the 2024 Euros in Germany has been completed and there’s reason to be positive for England, Gareth Southgate and fans of the Three Lions.
They have been drawn in a favourable Group C alongside Denmark, Serbia and Slovenia and have avoided the likes of Italy and the Netherlands.
So where are the Three Lions going on tour?
England on tour
Southgate’s men open their campaign on Sunday 16 June against Serbia at the home of Schalke, who are 16th in 2. Bundesliga.
The 50,000 capacity Veltins-Arena will host England against a side who could field former Fulham player Aleksandar Mitrovic and Fenerbahce star Dusan Tadic.
Four days later the Three Lions will face their toughest Group C fixture against Denmark at the 47,000-seater Frankfurt Arena.
Denmark are England’s highest ranked opponent in the group stages, and are currently 19th in the world. England are ranked No3, Serbia 34th and Slovenia 54th.
The Three Lions take on Slovenia on 25 June in Cologne while the other two teams in the group face off in Munich on the deciding day.
Assuming England top their group, they could find themselves back at Schalke’s ground in Gelsenkirchen before a potential quarter-final in Dusseldorf, semi-final in Dortmund and final in Berlin.
Euro 2024 party
It could have been a lot tougher for Southgate’s side, with Denmark set to post the toughest test.
“When Denmark came out, and you could still have Denmark, Croatia, Italy or something like that, then you’re wondering where it’s heading,” the England manager said.
“But then, of course, you have to be very careful not to underestimate the opponents you have.
“I’ve been fortunate as a coach and a player to have been to eight tournaments.
“I’ve seen a lot of teams that were fancied and well ranked going into tournaments not deliver and not get out of their group.
“So, we have to have the humility to start again, as well as we’ve been playing and as well as we’ve built over a long period of time.
“We’ve been ranked in the top five in the world for five years, so we’ve had consistency of performances and results.
“But a new tournament means a new challenge and the first objective is to get out of the group again.”
England reached the finals of the last Euros competition before losing to Italy on penalties in the final at Wembley.
But it is hoped that England, with the likes of Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane and Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham, could go one better and lift their first ever European title.
England are currently favourites to win the tournament with the bookies at 7/2 with France at 4/1, hosts Germany at 7/1 and Portugal at 8/1.
“It’s clear the team are heading in a good direction. The rankings came out this week and we were third in the world, so I think our performances across the calendar year have been good.
“Eight wins, two draws, we won the toughest qualifying group and we won it comfortably, but that’s history and you have to go again in the next calendar year.
“It’s nice when we travel around Europe. I have to say we do get well received and we do get a lot of credit, which is lovely.
“But of course we know there’s still a step we want to take and that’s what drives us.”
Scotland were handed a tough draw and are in Group A with hosts Germany, Hungary and Switzerland.
If Wales overcome their two play-off matches, they’ll be in Group D with France, the Netherlands and Austria.