UEFA Euro last 16 – prediction and favourites to qualify
The 2020 UEFA European Championship has finally reached the business end, and we list out our prediction as well as the favourites to cross the last 16 stage of the competition. The group stages are over, and the battle lines are drawn. Just 16 teams are left and they fight it out for the coveted Henri Delaunay trophy.
But to reach the final, they must clear three hurdles first, beginning with the round of 16 stage that kicks off this weekend. We now look at the eight matches in store for us and give our prediction as to which team can qualify for the quarter-finals.
Match 1 – Wales vs Denmark
Wales qualified as runners-up from Group A and face Denmark, who were the Group B runners-up. The two teams seem evenly matched but the Welsh, with the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, could have enough firepower to overcome the 1992 European champions.
Wales to beat Denmark by a narrow margin and make it to the quarter-finals. They were last edition’s semi-finalists and would hope to match, or even better that performance this time around.
Match 2 – Italy vs Austria
Italy would be overwhelming favourites here considering the form that they’re in. Roberto Mancini’s men did not concede a single goal in the group stages and won all their 3 games.
The Austrians qualified as runners-up from Group C after wins against Ukraine and North Macedonia.
The Italians should comfortably see off the Austrians and march towards the last 8.
Match 3 – Netherlands vs Czech Republic
The Dutch team are in sumptuous form. Georginio Wijnaldum is the man in form as Oranje have had a perfect record in the group stages. While their group might have been comparatively easier, their results cannot be ignored.
The 1988 European champions Netherlands could have a tough time against a Czech Republic side that finished third in Group D. But we expect them to win and march on to the deep end of the competition.
Match 4 – Belgium vs Portugal
This is perhaps the most exciting match in the last 16 of the Euros 2020. It is tough to give a prediction or cite one team as clear favourites, considering Belgium have looked very strong in the group stages while the Portuguese are the defending champions, led by the magnificent Cristiano Ronaldo.
We go with a tight game which may go into extra time. But at the end of the day, the Belgians should prevail considering the quality they possess in each area of the pitch.
Match 5 – Croatia vs Spain
The Spain of now is a far cry from the Spain side we used to see a decade ago. Vicente del Bosque’s men dominated the world from 2008-2012, winning two Euros and one FIFA World Cup in that time, but their performances since then have not been as good.
We side with the Croatians in this game. The core of their 2018 FIFA World Cup silver-medalist squad still remains intact and should have the mettle to stand up and deliver against the Spaniards.
Match 6 – France vs Switzerland
The French, according to many, are the favourites to lift the Euros 2020 trophy. The 2018 World Cup winners are in fine form and with a squad that boasts of talents like Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Presnel Kimpembe, they should have no trouble making their way to the final.
The Swiss barely made it to the last-16 after finishing third in Group A. Despite the mercurial Xherdan Shaqiri in their ranks, we predict that they would fall short against the might of Didier Deschamp’s France side.
Match 7 – England vs Germany
A match for the ages between two of football’s fiercest rivals on the international stage can only produce fireworks. Germany have always been a force to reckon with no matter the era or the competition they take part in, while England’s squad this time around is good enough to go all the way.
Germany could comfortably see off England, whose attack has been lacklustre in the tournament so far.
Match 8 – Ukraine vs Sweden
This is another match that is tough to call. But the Swedes have been in great form, winning group E ahead of the mighty Spain. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, scraped their way into the last-16 after finishing with just 3 points.
We see Sweden managing to win this one but not without a fight from their opponents. It could go into extra time but Sweden are good enough to come out victoriously.