EURO 2020 finally wrapped up the group stage with expected results and slight surprises. Unfortunately, such leads to the premature encounters of not just two but four favourites, due to their positions in the group, in the so-called ‘early finals’. The reigning champions, Portugal, will have to face off one of the strongest favourite, the number one team in FIFA ranks in the past few years, Belgium, whereas Germany is bound to take on England in London for another classic clash.
Seleccao de Quinas seemed to be struggling again in EURO this year by only sitting on the third at the group stage. Such reminds us to their position in 2016. CR7 and Co also sat on the third with only three points on hand. Yet, their campaign now would be tougher since Belgium is one team none would like to meet at the early stage. They were triumphant in group B with perfect nine points, scoring seven goals and conceding only one. Portugal, on the other hand, could only collected four points with one result each. Although they could boast themselves with Cristiano Ronaldo as the leading tournament top scorer with five goals, Fernando Santos’ men had a hard time in the matches against the high profile teams, lost to Germany, again, and held in a 2-2 draw against France.
Meanwhile, Die Mannschaft’ inconsistency cost their position on the table. A defeat from France, a great win over the defending Champions but a stunning tie against Hungary only brought them to the second, which means losing a chance to play at their home turf again. Instead, Joachiem Low’s side is travelling to London to encounter the Three Lions, which has been able to keep clean sheets despite only netting twice only. Such is quite on the contrary to Germany notching up six times but already conceding five goals. Their last meeting was in EURO 2000, which remains the only England's victory against Der Panzer in EURO so far. This could be the chance of redemption for their boss, Gareth Southgate became the only player failing in the penalty shoot out at the semi final of 1996 edition. Such cost The Three Lions’ opportunity to clinch their first EURO title.
The other six fixtures of round of 16 are fairly straight forward and predictable. The flying high Italy is meeting Austria, the current World Cup winner, France is only facing off Switzerland. Netherlands will see Czech Republic whereas their contender in group D, Croatia is taking on the champions in 2008 and 2012, Spain. Last but not least, the two Scandinavian sides, Sweden and Denmark will be up against the relatively equal teams to them, Ukraine and Wales. Here is the schedule of the games in round of 16.
26th June 2021:
Wales vs Denmark (in Amsterdam)
Italy vs Austria (in London)
27th June 2021:
Netherlands vs Czech Rep (in Budapest)
Belgium vs Portugal (in Sevilla)
28th June 2021:
Croatia vs Spain (in Copenhagen)
France vs Switzerland (in Bucharest)
29th June 2021:
England vs Germany (in London)
Sweden vs Ukraine (in Glasgow)