The UEFA Euro 2020 has provided soccer fans from around the globe plenty to talk about. Plenty of goals and drama have been seen throughout the group stage. Now, the last 16 teams will battle it out and plenty of great match ups have been drawn. Some big names were eliminated but the majority of the big guns still remain in the tournament. Here is a look at the eight games that will see eight teams advance to the quarterfinals.
Wales vs Denmark
This Saturday, these two will play in a game that will se the Danish team as the favorites. After seeing their star player Christian Erikson collapse on the field, Denmark managed to advance the group stage. Now, they must face Gareth Bale and an interesting team of Wales. These two teams have met 10 times in their history with Denmark winning six and Wales winning four.
Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands will be the host of this great encounter. Wales has not won in Amsterdam in their previous matches but will try to break that streak. Aaron Ramsey has been solid and has looked like his old self for the Wales national team thus far. Indeed, this match is wide open for both teams to advance, but the one that can take their chances first will be the one to win.
Ethan Ampadu will not be available for this game as he was shown the red card in the previous match against Italy. Moreover, Welsh fans will not be allowed to enter Welsh fans into the country of Netherlands. The Netherlands is under the UK amber list meaning people who travel to Netherlands and return to Wales must quarantine for 10 days. After that they must take a Covid test at least once. This is a huge blow for Wales so we must see how this will affect their game in an important match.
Italy vs Austria
Italy is coming strong into this matchup as they won all three of their group stage matches. They are yet to concede a goal and look like a serious contender to win the tournament. However, Austria is a team that only lost one match in the group stages and can go toe to toe with anyone. Although this may be true, Italy are still the favorite to win this match.
Ciro Immobile is playing great after finally finding the back of the net twice in the tournament. He will try and continue that scoring streak but will have to work hard as David Alaba and company will try to do the unthinkable and eliminate a heavy favorite.
Wembley Stadium will be the venue for this match on Saturday as Austria are in their first ever knockout stages of the European Championship. Italy will have to deal with the pressure of being the heavy favorites to win but can manage that pressure as they have experienced players in their squad.
Netherlands vs Czech Republic
Ferenc Puskás Aréna in Budapest, Hungarywill be the host of this encounter on Sunday. Netherlands have yet to lose in this tournament and are playing great thus far. Certainly, they will use this momentum to defeat a Czech team who may not have the big names in their roster, but as a unit they have been playing well. Memphis Depay has been playing sensational and he is now a FC Barcelona player and will continue to demonstrate why he got signed to a great team.
No doubt Czech Republic are not seen as the favorites to win this match meaning that all the pressure will be on the Netherlands to win. Patrik Schick is one of the leading scorers of the tournament with three goals in three matches. He will be a serious threat for the Netherlands defense to control. Nonetheless, Netherlands will be the team attacking and with the dominance of the ball. We will see if they can pass to the next round or get stunned by a solid Czech team.
Belgium vs Portugal
Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla will be the host this Sunday of one of the most anticipated clashes that was produced due to the final group stage results. The reigning champions, Portugal, made it through the “group of death” in third place and now must face a tough opponent. Cristiano Ronaldo will have to demonstrate why is one of the GOATS with five goals in the tournament against a team that is well structured and a heavy favorite to win the tournament.
Romelu Lukaku is the leading scorer for Belgium with three goals and is playing well as his teammates are too. No doubt this match is one to see from beginning to end as both teams have the best players in the world in their teams. Portugal has not looked good in defense and has suffered in each of their group stage matches.
Needless to say, this match is an anticipated final that we are lucky to see this early in the tournament. However, only one team can advance so we will sadly see one good team having to departure this tournament. It will be an even match full of drama and goals as both teams will try to do everything that they can to advance to the next round.
Croatia vs Spain
Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark will be the venue for this evenly matchup on Monday. Croatia finished second in their group and are slowly elevating their game thanks to Luka Modrić and company. On the other hand, Spain struggled in front on goal in their first two group stage matches but unleashed their scoring arsenal in the last group stage match to defeat Finland five to cero.
Croatia can use that advantage of Spain not taking their chances in front of goal and can take an early lead if they can be able to take their chances. We all know that Spain will dominate the ball percentage throughout the match. So, Croatia will have to do with counterattacking Spain and score when chances are presented to them.
Nonetheless, this match will be a great one as Croatia will not be easily defeated. Spain may be lacking a goal scorer, but they create a lot of scoring chances and surely some of those chances they must score. Indeed, this match is a great one and a must see from beginning to end. Sadly, one must lose and go home while the other one will advance to the quarterfinals.
France vs Switzerland
The world champions won their group and now will face a team that in paper is beatable. Although, we all know that in soccer anything is possible so France must show no mercy and take all of their chances in front of goal that present to them. Switzerland has nothing to lose and have no pressure coming into this match.
Ousmane Dembélé left this tournament due to a knee injury for the French team, but they have plenty of depth in their squad. Switzerland may not have the heavy artillery that France possess, but as a team they can trouble this French defense that has been troubled in the tournament. They have not kept a clean sheet in their three group stage matches.
Arena Națională in Bucharest, Romania will be the host of this incredible match. Yes, France is the clear favorite, but anything can happen in soccer so France must take their chances to avoid any surprises and go deep in the tournament.
England vs Germany
Wembley Stadium in London, England will be the host of this well anticipated match on Tuesday. Both teams are full of star players, and this will be such of delight to see them play against each other. England won their group while Germany came in second of theirs. This encounter will be a tight one as both teams will try to attack one another. Germany has not looked their best and have struggled in their previous group stage matches.
However, England has struggled as well as they only have scored two goals in the tournament by Raheem Sterling. Now, both teams must improve if they want to advance to the quarterfinals. The Germans are not struggling when it comes to scoring but they are struggling in defense as they have not kept a clean sheet in this tournament thus far.
No doubt this match is an anticipated final and the eyes of the fans will be watching this match from beginning to end. This is a tough test for England as they are looking to eliminate the Germans. Germany are looking to stun England in their own country and have the players to do so. There will be plenty of players who play in the same team clubs that will be playing against each other. Undoubtedly this match will have drama and hopefully it can deliver to its high expectations.
Sweden vs Ukraine
Hapden Park in Glasgow, Scotland will be the host this Tuesday of this evenly match up. The Swedish won their group in which they were second favorites to win. They have played well so far and have the chance to make a deep run. They are a dark horse since they don’t have any pressure from the media.
The same can be said for Ukraine as they do not have the pressure as the other big teams do. Ukraine have only won one game and must improve if they want to beat a Ukraine side who is undefeated in these Euros.
All in all, this match sees Sweden as the favorites, but you cannot count out Ukraine who can shock them. This is just a one match affair so Ukraine have a chance to score a goal and counterattack a Swedish team that will go all out to win.
Great Games Ahead
Each match up is a great one with their being two anticipated finals that every soccer fan will be looking forward in seeing. Can the defending champions Portugal, defeat a Belgium team full of star player? Will England come alive against the powerful Germany? Can Spain find their form and take their chances in front of goal? All of these questions will be answered in the coming days of an electrifying Euros 2020.