Casumo predicts… Euro 2020 quarter-finalists
So far, it’s fair to say that Euro 2020 has lived up to its billing. After a year delay, football fans were hotly anticipating the European Championships and they have not been left disappointed, with goals galore, extra-time drama, and shock victories leaving most of us on tenterhooks and glued to our television sets.
With the quarter-finals kicking off on Friday evening, the tournament is really beginning to take shape, and with the likes of Germany, France and the Netherlands already eliminated, it is England who head into the nail-biting last eight ties with the weight of being named the new tournament favourites on their shoulders.
Of course, with many of the big nations already being shown the exit door, there are a few surprise names in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 and there’s no doubt that they will have their sights firmly set on causing a few more upsets before the tournament is out.
So, without further ado, let’s take a quick look at the four quarter-final clashes and asses the chances of those teams involved. Read on to find out more!
Switzerland vs Spain – 2nd July, St. Petersburg
All eyes will be on Switzerland vs Spain on Friday evening as Vladimir Petković’s men take on Luis Enrique’s side in the first quarter-final clash in St. Petersburg. It’ll come as no surprise that the Spanish will head into the match as favourites. However, they will certainly be wary with the Swiss having knocked out France in the round of 16.
Enrique’s men looked lacklustre in their first couple of group games, drawing with Sweden and Poland. But they turned on the charm against Slovakia, winning 5-0 to secure their place in the last 16, where they beat Croatia 5-3 after extra-time.
Switzerland will have their work cut out if they want to keep the Spanish quiet and take down another European giant, but the likes of Aymeric Laporte and Eric García will have to be equally as switched on with Haris Seferović and Xherdan Shaqiri posing a real threat on the counter.
Belgium vs Italy – 2nd July, Munich
Belgium vs Italy, which will follow on from Switzerland vs Spain on Friday night, promises to be the tie of the round. Italy breezed through Group A, beating Turkey, Switzerland and Wales to progress to the last 16. However, they looked a tad rocky against Austria, where they were forced into extra-time, eventually winning 2-1.
Belgium also topped their group, with victories over Russia, Denmark and Finland securing their place in the round of 16. They showed their defensive resilience against Portugal in the first knockout round, soaking up the pressure from Cristiano Ronaldo and co before scoring with their only shot on target.
The good news for Roberto Mancini’s men, who are now over 30 games unbeaten, is that Belgium will be without two of their key players — Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne. Of course, the likes of Romelu Lukaku, who has found the back of the net three times thus far, and Thorgan Hazard, whose long-range goal was the difference in the 1-0 victory against Portugal, still provide Roberto Martínez’ side with a great chance of progressing to the last four.
Czech Republic vs Denmark – 3rd July, Baku
Czech Republic vs Denmark certainly isn’t a quarter-final many would have predicted prior to the tournament. However, having gotten this far, neither side will want to crash out at this stage.
Despite knocking out the Netherlands in the last 16, stunning the Dutch with a 2-0 victory, the Czech Republic will once again head into this tie on Saturday evening in Baku as the underdogs, but that won’t faze Jaroslav Šilhavý’s men, who finished third behind Croatia and England in Group D. Patrik Schick will of course be the man who the Czechs will be relying on to make the difference.
Denmark have recovered well from their opening two defeats, putting four goals past both Russia and Wales. However, the Czech Republic have proved difficult to break down thus far, so Kasper Dolberg, Martin Braithwate and co will need to take their chances when and if they come.
Ukraine vs England – 3rd July, Rome
The final quarter-final encounter will see Ukraine and England go head-to-head in Rome on Saturday night, and most have already written off Andriy Shevchenko’s side before the game has even started.
England looked mediocre at best in their group games against Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic. However, with a 2-0 victory over Germany in the round of 16, Gareth Southgate’s men are now the favourites to win the tournament and they couldn’t have asked for an easier route to the final, with the winner of Czech Republic vs Denmark potentially awaiting them at Wembley in the semi-final.
But England must not jump the gun. Ukraine have proved difficult to beat so far, and have looked like a solid unit in the matches against the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Austria and Sweden. The key to victory for the Three Lions could be keeping West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko quiet.