On Saturday, UEFA Euro 2016’s knockout stages will kick off as sixteen teams square off for a chance to play in the quarter finals. With a lopsided bracket in which France, Germany, Spain and Italy are all on one side, while Croatia, Wales and Belgium are the strongest of the teams on the other side, anything can happen for the rest of the tournament. Here are my Euro 2016 Round of 16 Predictions.
Switzerland 0-1 Poland
Robert Lewandowski will finally find form in Euro 2016 and will grab the only goal in a 1-0 victory for Poland against Switzerland. Both teams will be resolute defensively and there won’t be too many chances with most of the possession coming in the middle of the field.
Man of the Match: Kamil Glik (Poland)
Switzerland – Sommer, Lichtsteiner, Schar, Djourou, Rodriguez, Xhaka, Behrami, Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Mehmedi, Embolo
Poland – Fabianski, Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk, Krychowiak, Maczynsky, Grosicki, Blaszczykowski, Milik, Lewandowski
Wales 2-0 Northern Ireland
Wales will continue their rapid rise to being one of the tournament’s standout teams with a convincing 2-0 win against Northern Ireland. Bale and Ramsey will shine once again and grab the only goals of the game despite Wales having three times as many shots as Northern Ireland.
Man of the Match: Gareth Bale (Wales)
Wales – Hennessey, Chester, A. Williams, Davies, Gunter, Allen, Ledley, Taylor, Ramsey, Vokes, Bale
Northern Ireland – McGovern, Hughes, McAuley, Cathcart, J. Evans, J. Ward, C. Evans, Norwood, S. Davis, Dallas, Washington
Croatia 2-1 Portugal
Ronaldo will have ten shots and fail to score from any of them with Nani grabbing Portugal’s only goal. Croatia meanwhile will dominate possession and will fly crosses in all game long. The same scorers of Croatia’s goals against Spain in their 2-1 victory, Kalinic and Perisic, will score again. Kalinic’s goal will be a header off of a Perisic or Srna cross. Ronaldo will cry.
Man of the Match: Darijo Srna (Croatia)
Croatia – Subasic, Srna, Corluka, Vida, Strinic, Modric, Badelj, Brozovic, Rakitic, Perisic, Kalinic
Portugal – Patricio, Vierinha, Pepe, R. Carvalho, Eliseu, Mario, W. Carvalho, Gomes, Nani, Ronaldo, R. Sanches
France 2-1 Republic of Ireland
France will be frustrated in the first half after they fail to score a goal despite Payet whipping in what Peter Drury will be calling “delicious balls” all half. Ireland will have their own struggles though as they struggle to find a way past Kante, Rami, Koscielny and Evra. France will grab two second half goals, with the winner coming late on. Griezmann, Giroud and Long will be the scorers.
Man of the Match: Dimitri Payet (France)
France – Lloris, Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra, Pogba, Kante, Matuidi, Griezmann, Giroud, Payet
Ireland – Randolph, Coleman, Duffy, Keogh, S. Ward, Hendrick, McCarthy, Brady, McClean, Hoolahan, Long
Germany 2-0 Slovakia
Slovakia will be trying to hold out for a draw but Germany will be too good going forward and punish them with two goals, one coming in each half. Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil will both grab their first goals of the tournament and Gotze’s struggles will be overshadowed by a fantastic Germany win.
Man of the Match: Thomas Muller (Germany)
Germany – Neuer, Howedes, Boateng, Hummels, Hector, Khedira, Kroos, Muller, Ozil, Gotze, Gomez
Slovakia – Kozacik, Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Hubocan, Kucka, Pecovsky, Mak, Hamsik, Weiss, Duda
Hungary 1-2 Belgium
Hungary will continue their trend of scoring in every single game but will be outclassed by a Belgium side that is starting to find their feet in the competition. Kevin de Bruyne will star but will leave the goal scoring to be done by Lukaku and Carrasco. Dzsudzsak will score for Hungary but it won’t be enough to stop Belgium from advancing to the next round.
Man of the Match: Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium)
Hungary – Kiraly, Lang, Juhasz, Guzmics, Kadar, Gera, Kleinheiser, Loverencsics, Elek, Dzsudzsak, Szalai
Belgium – Courtois, Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Nainggolan, Witsel, Carrasco, de Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku
Italy 1-1 Spain (P)
Spain will dominate possession and will have no trouble scoring goals. Their leaky defense could be a problem though with Italy looking dangerous on the counter attack. Pelle will head in a goal off of a Candreva cross, but only after Alvaro Morata has already opened the scoring for Spain. Andres Iniesta will need to be the hero again for Spain but will fall short as the game goes in to a penalty shootout and in dramatic fashion, Spain still win 5-4 on penalties.
Man of the Match: Andres Iniesta (Spain) (for doing nothing)
Italy – Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Candreva, Parolo, de Rossi, Giacherrini, Florenzi, Eder, Pelle
Spain – De Gea, Juanfran, Pique, Ramos, Alba, Fabregas, Busquets, Iniesta, D. Silva, Morata, Nolito
England 1-2 Iceland (AET)
Iceland will cause a massive upset as they beat England by a score of 2-1 after extra time. England will have chance after chance to score and will fail miserably. Iceland will grab an early lead by the foot of Gylfi Sigurdsson but England will get an equalizing goal from second half substitute, Jamie Vardy late on to send the game into extra time. It’ll all be for nothing though as Bjarnarson puts the ball into the back of the net in extra time and madness erupts around the stadium.
England – Hart, Walker, Cahill, Smalling, Rose, Henderson, Dier, Rooney, Alli, Kane, Sturridge
Iceland – Halldorsson, Saevarsson, Arnason, Sigurdsson, Skulason, Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson, Bjaranason, Sigthorsson, Bodvarsson
Man of the Match: Wayne Rooney (England)
So there it is! My Euro 2016 Round of 16 Predictions! Be sure to check out the Team of the Week and the Quarter Final Predictions after the round is over. See you next time 🙂