Denmark, Serbia and Switzerland await Harry Kane's England in Group C of Euro 2024 - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
Denmark, Serbia and Switzerland await Harry Kane's England in Group C of Euro 2024 - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga

UEFA Euro 2024 Group C preview: Can Harry Kane's England bring it home?


Harry Kane is dreaming of captaining England to glory in Berlin, but there can be no discounting a talented Denmark side, determined Serbia and Benjamin Šeško's Slovenia.

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In 1992, the Danish Dynamite stunned Europe by becoming champions despite not even having qualified for the Euros that summer, with a last-minute spot granted following the outbreak of war in the former Yugoslavia. At Euro 2020, Kasper Hjulmand coached his side to the semi-finals where they were edged by England in extra-time.

Top star: Christian Eriksen

The 32-year-old midfielder has been the face of the Danish team for years. That status took an emotive turn during the last European Championship when Eriksen suffered a heart attack on the pitch, only for the quick-thinking medical staff to resuscitate him. The images of his shocked teammates went around the world, followed by a huge sigh of relief as Eriksen recovered. He now plies his trade at Manchester United and continues to dictate play for his national side with his vision and superb passing.

Coach: Kasper Hjulmand

Hjulmand has been guiding Denmark for close to four years now, including during those emotional moments during the last Euros along with the wins that followed over Wales and Czechia on the way to the knockout stages. Hjulmand led Nordsjaelland to the Danish title in 2011/12 before he succeeded Thomas Tuchel at Mainz in 2014/15 - only to be dismissed after 24 matches. 

One to watch: Rasmus Højlund

The tall and athletic Højlund packs great pace and is a clinical finisher. He has been portrayed as Manchester United's answer to Erling Haaland, and is a year younger than his fellow Scandinavian across Manchester. The Dane's 10 strikes in the past English Premier League season may be less impressive than Haaland's 36 on his debut season in England, but Højlund carries hopes of developing into an incredible player, and has a chance to show on the big stage in Germany just what he can do.

Watch: Højlund's fellow striker Jonas Wind appeared in the latest episode of Bundesliga Beyond


Coach Hjulmand says: "Our togetherness is our strength". He argues the sense of identity between the team and the Danish public mushroomed following Eriksen's heart attack, adding that his squad that mixes youth and experience "would like to dictate play as much as possible, on and off the ball. That is our mindset. We don't want to always see ourselves as outsiders." 


After reaching the semi-finals at Euro 2020 and a group-stage exit at the 2022 World Cup, who knows exactly what Denmark are capable of this time. They have every right to target second place behind England in Group C, which could land them a clash against hosts Germany in the last 16, whereas Portugal might lie in wait should they finish third. Progress as far as the quarter-finals is therefore hard to foresee. 


The Three Lions are among the favourites to win Euro 2024 after finishing fourth in the 2018 World Cup, suffering penalty heartache in the Euro 2020 final and being beaten 2-1 by eventual finalists France in the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup. "Thirty years of hurt", sang Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds - almost 30 years ago, with the question being whether this talented generation of English players can finally end the long wait for a major title going back to 1966?

Top star: Harry Kane

A leader on and off the field for England and a strike sensation at Bayern Munich. Few words do justice to the phenomenon of Kane. His astonishing 36-goal haul saw him crowned top goalscorer in his first Bundesliga season, European Golden Shoe winner, as well as scorer of Bundesliga Goal of the Season. He has a lot more than just goals to offer too, with his hold-up, distribution and playmaking ability being just as important for England as it is for the Bavarians.

Watch: Kane under the tactical microscope

Coach: Gareth Southgate

The former Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender missed the decisive penalty in the Euro 1996 semi-final shootout against Germany - a heart-breaking moment that he would experience again from the dugout as England were beaten by Italy on penalties at Wembley in the 2021 final. In close to eight years in charge, he has managed to firmly establish England among the international elite again, though.

One to watch: Cole Palmer

England have a squad brimming with young talent. Palmer, 22, shines brightly among them all for his brilliant breakout season. Last summer he moved from Manchester City to Chelsea seeking more playing time - and well and truly hit the ground running. With 22 goals scored and 11 assists, the lanky attacking midfielder was an unstoppable force at times in the Premier League - with only Haaland (26 goals) scoring more. Palmer is strong in tight areas and packs a mean finish, and will be a brilliant option from the substitutes' bench. To look at that another way: England have a seriously good team if they can leave him on the bench.


The target is clear - ending the trophy draught since 1966 for once and for all! 


Southgate's side are rightly counted among the favourites. With the likes of Kane, former Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham and further big names like Phil Foden (Manchester City) and Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), England are one of the top national teams in the world for player quality.


The Eagles have qualified for a European Championship for a first time, and may be considered outsiders, but can count a few very good players in their ranks. 

Top star: Dušan Vlahović

Vlahović, to name but one. The striker with a beast of a left foot is currently at Juventus, having previously played for Fiorentina and developed at Partizan Belgrade. He boasts great technique, packs plenty of tricks and provides a real threat from set pieces with his giant leap and 1.90-metre frame. He is a perfect attacking partner for Aleksandar Mitrović.

Coach: Dragan Stojković

As a legendary player, Stojković earned 41 international caps for Yugoslavia and 43 for Serbia & Montenegro. The playmaker faced Germany in both the 1990 and 1998 World Cups.

Watch: The best of Werder Bremen and Serbia's Miloš Veljković in 2023/24

One to watch: Strahinja Pavlović

The 23-year-old Red Bull Salzburg centre-back is a defensive giant, standing at 1.94 metres tall. He can certainly attack too, getting three goals and three assists last season. After developing at Partizan Belgrade, he has played in five major European leagues - France's Ligue 1 for Monaco, Belgium's Jupiler Pro League (Cercle Bruges), Serbia's SuperLiga (Partizan), Swiss Super League (Basel) and the Austrian Bundesliga. He boasts both UEFA Champions League and Europa League experience, often keeping Werder Bremen's Miloš Veljković out the side.


Serbia qualified for the tournament as second in Group G behind Hungary. Gaining their first-ever European Championship finals spot with a draw against Bulgaria in the final qualifying match sparked huge celebrations, but they are not going to Germany just to make up the numbers, with a strong squad having every hope of making the knockout stages.


Vlahović, Dušan Tadić (Fenerbahce), Sergej Milinković-Savić (formerly Lazio, now al-Hilal), Mitrović (formerly Fulham, now al-Hilal), as well as the former Frankfurt trio of Luka Jović (AC Milan), Filip Kostić (Juventus) and Mijat Gaćinović (AEK Athens) show the Serbians pack serious strength. They might have a tight battle with Denmark for second place, but third place could also be enough for the knockout stages.


Slovenia are taking part in a European Championship for the second time after 2000. They finished level on points with Denmark in qualifying, and conceded just nine goals in 10 matches.  

Top star: Jan Oblak

The 31-year-old goalkeeper has been one of the best shot-stoppers in the Spanish league for a decade now. The four-time Slovenian Footballer of the Year has taken one league title with Atlético Madrid along with a league, cup, Europa League and the UEFA Supercup. The athletic goalkeeper with razor-sharp reflexes has been known as one of the best in his trade for a while. He is one reason why both Atlético and Slovenia concede so few goals - making 23 saves in qualifying. Together with basketball star Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks, ski jumper Peter Prevc and former ski racer Tina Maze, Oblak is one his nation's all-time sporting greats.

Coach: Matjaž Kek

The Slovenian previously coached his country between 2007 and 2011, while the 62-year-old has been in the dugout again since 2018. Kek was a sweeper who played for Slovenian record champions Maribor and spent nine years in Austria.

One to watch: Benjamin Šeško

Talking of those who know their way around Austria, RB Leipzig strike sensation Šeško developed at Red Bull Salzburg and Liefering. The 21-year-old struck 14 goals in his debut Bundesliga season last year, as well as providing two assists.

Watch: The best of Šeško in the Bundesliga


Slovenia go into the tournament as clear outsiders in Group C. Their strong defence might just grind opponents down, opening up the chance to strike on breaks or from set pieces. There is confidence they can rattle the other three group opponents.


Progression from the groups is unlikely, but if things go their way and both Oblak and Šeško perform as we know they can, they could just spring a surprise or two. 

Euro 2024 group previews