Euro 2016 has been flying by so far and on Thursday, the Quarter Finals will kick off as the final eight teams battle for only four spots in the semi finals. Portugal surprised many by beating Croatia in the round of 16, but now go into the next round facing a Polish side that has only conceded one goal the entire competition. Italy meanwhile surged past Spain last time out only to now have to take on the World Champions in Germany who looked unstoppable against Slovakia. Wales and Belgium meanwhile face each other in a high pressure match as both teams come in to the Quarter Finals as the two most in-form teams in the entire tournament. Lastly, last time out Iceland continued their fairy tale run by beating England in the Round of 16, but now France will be looking to end that fairy tale as Griezmann and Payet hit top form. Here are my Euro 2016 Quarter Final Predictions.
(P) Poland 1-1 Portugal
It’ll be a tight affair in Thursday’s Quarter final between Poland and Portugal with both teams cancelling each other out and holding out for a draw. Ronaldo and Milik will score the only goals of the game, sending the game into extra time followed by a penalty shootout. Poland will advance on penalties by a score of 5-4 just like they did in the Round of 16. Ronaldo will cry.
Man of the Match: Jakub Blaszcykowski (Poland)
Poland – Fabianski, Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk, Krychowiak, Maczynsky, Grosicki, Blaszczykowski, Milik, Lewandowski
Portugal – Rui Patricio, Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro, Mario, W. Carvalho, A. Silva, Gomes, Nani, Ronaldo
Wales 1-2 Belgium
Belgium will continue their Euro 2016 splash with another fantastic victory this time against Wales. Wales will be good and have chances of their own, but the class of Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne will prove to be too much for them to handle. Wales will also have a tough time beating Courtois and may need another moment of Bale magic to beat the Chelsea goalkeeper. Ramsey will struggle and will be nearly anonymous as Witsel and Nainggolan dominate the midfield. De Bruyne will score his first goal of the tournament and Eden Hazard will add a second to cancel out Bale’s consolation goal for Wales.
Man of the Match: Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium)
Wales – Hennessey, Chester, A. Williams, Davies, Gunter, Allen, Ledley, Taylor, Ramsey, Vokes, Bale
Belgium – Courtois, Meunier, Alderweireld, Ciman, Vertonghen, Nainggolan, Witsel, Carrasco, de Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku
(P) Germany 1-1 Italy
Both defenses will be incredibly hard to break down but several shots will still be taken and will force the hands of two goalkeepers on several occasions. Both Buffon and Neuer will be on top of their games though and will make some stunning saves to keep the other team out. Pelle will score again for Italy, with Gomez tapping in from close range for Germany. Antonio Conte meanwhile will be shouting so much that he will lose his voice. In the end it will go all the way to a penalty shootout with the score still tied at 1-1 and Germany will advance 5-4 on penalty kicks.
Man of the Match: Toni Kroos (Germany)
Germany – Neuer, Howedes, Boateng, Hummels, Hector, Khedira, Kroos, Muller, Ozil, Gotze, Gomez
Italy – Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Candreva, Parolo, de Rossi, Giacherrini, Florenzi, Eder, Pelle
France 2-1 Iceland
Iceland’s fairly tale run will come to an end after another late showing by France. Iceland will take the lead from a first half goal scored by Sigthorsson, but France will turn up for the second half a changed team and will grab goals from the feet of Griezmann and Pogba. Iceland will be very defensive and will try and sit back after scoring their early goal, but it won’t stop France from continuing to create chances. Payet, Griezmann and Pogba will all be on top of their games and Giroud will be a handful for Arnason and Sigurdsson to deal with in the air. In the end, France will advance to the semi finals.
Man of the Match: Antoine Griezmann (France)
France – Lloris, Sagna, Mangala, Koscielny, Evra, Pogba, Cabaye, Matuidi, Griezmann, Giroud, Payet
Iceland – Halldorsson, Saevarsson, Arnason, Sigurdsson, Skulason, Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson, Bjaranason, Sigthorsson, Bodvarsson
So there it is! My Euro 2016 Quarter Final Predictions! Be sure to check out the Team of the Week and the Semi Final & Final Predictions after the round is over. See you next time 🙂