No one knows whether Terry Venables' team can emulate history, but the drama and suspense of Euro '96 will captivate the nation.
Four years ago Denmark stunned the international football community by winning the European Championship in Sweden. Can they do it again? Will Jurgen Klinsmann lead Germany to victory? Can Roberto Baggio and his team erase the memory of Italy's 1994 World Cup final defeat? Will Alan Shearer prove he's England's most feared striker?
All questions will be answered at the Wembly final in under seven weeks. Meanwhile, our appetites already whetted by the presence in English clubs of leading Europeans (France's Eric Cantona and Holland's Ruud Gullit), we can expect a feast of football.
The opening game - England vs Switzerland at Wembley is on 8 June. Two days later Scotland play the Netherlands at Villa Park.
The 16 competing countries are divided into four groups, with the leading two from each section going forward to the quarter-finals. From then on it's sudden death.
In this sporting spirit The Independent and the Independent on Sunday invite you to test your footballing knowledge. Play our Euro '96 competition and you can pit your footballing expertise against other readers and a selection of celebrities.
Ultimatly you have the chance of winning our prize: a VIP trip to watch Milan play an important home match next season.
HOW TO PLAY
The Independent European Championship Football Forecast offers you the opportunity to use your footballing skill and judgement to answer the 11 questions printed alongside.
Make your selections from the answer panel on the right. For every correct answer you will earn the number of points attributed to that question. The individual with the highest number of points will win our prize, a VIP trip to see Milan in an important home match next season.
Details of how to enter are given opposite. You can enter at any point up until 12:00 noon on Saturday 8 June 1996, the first day of Euro '96.
HOW TO SCORE
Each of the 11 questions has a points value. If you answer any of the questions correctly you will earn the points attributed to that question. In addition to the 11 main questions you will be required to answer a tie-break question. This question does not have a points value and will only come into play should the necessity arise. The winner will be the individual who earns the most points in the competition.
All questions related to goals scored do not include goals scored in penalty shoot-outs.
1. Which striker from the list on the opposite page will score the most goals in Euro '96?
2. Which striker from the list opposite will score the least goals in Euro '96?
3. Which goalkeeper from the list opposite will concede the least goals in Euro '96?
4. Which goalkeeper from the list opposite will concede the most goals in Euro '96?
5. How many goals will be scored in total in Group C, (Czech Rep., Germany, Italy, Russia)?
6. How many goals will there be in the England v Switzerland game?
7. How many goals will there be in the Turkey v Croatia game?
8. How many goals will there be in the Netherlands v England game?
9. How many yellow cards will be issued in the quarter-finals?
10. How many substitutions will there be in the Wembley semi-final?
11. How many shots on target will there be in the Netherlands v Scotland game, (figures based on ITV statistics)?
Tie Break: How many goals will be scored in open play in Euro '96?
HOW TO ENTER
Study the 11 questions opposite carefully.
Using your knowledge of football, choose an answer for each question from the answer list below.
Make a note of your answer to each question together with each answer's three-digit code (to the left of the answer).
You will use the three digit answer code to input your answer for each question into our computer telephone entry system.
You will also be asked on our entry line to tell us verbally the total number of goals you believe will be scored in open play (not including penalty shoot-outs) throughout Euro '96. Make a note of your verbal answer before you call.
Once you have selected your 11 answers you will have a list of 11, three-digit answer codes plus your figure of total goals scored in Euro '96. Now dial our entry line.
If you have a Pulse phone, one which makes clicking noises when you dial, then dial 0891 363 392. If you have a Tone Phone, one which makes tone noises when you dial, simply dial 0891 363 391.
By following the instructions given on the line carefully and double checking the selection is correct before you dial, your entry into the game will be quick and easy.
Enter your 11 answer codes in order when asked on line using your telephone dial / keypad. You will then be asked to state your total goals scored in open play (not including penalty shoot-outs) during Euro '96 before you leave your own details. You will then receive your unique PIN number which is the only valid proof of entry. Have a pen handy to note this down.
If you do not receive a PIN then your selection has not been registered.
The lines are open 24 hours a day until noon on Saturday 8 June 1996. You may enter as many times as you wish and you will receive a different PIN for each entry.
In the event of a tie between entrants, scored on the basis of the 11 answers given, the total number of goals scored in Euro '96 - as selected by each entrant - shall be taken into account. The entrant giving a figure nearest to the actual total number of goals scored in Euro '96 will be the winner.
In the event of a further tie, a Euro '96 football quiz will be set by The Independent Sports Editor to decide the winner.
Sorry, not available in the
Republic of Ireland.
The reader with the highest number of points at the end of the 1996 European Championship will win our prize - a VIP trip to see Milan in an important home match next season.
You will be flown to Milan, fashion and football capital of the world, stay for two nights in one of the city's finest hotels and watch Milan take on another European giant in an important home game, whilst enjoying VIP hospitality courtesy of Vauxhall the sister company of Opel, Milan's club