July 21, 2024

EURO 2024: Germany vs. Denmark and France vs. Belgium are the two main Round of 16 matchups.

Georgia became the last team to qualify for the Round of 16 of Euro 2024 after defeating Portugal 2-0 in an incredible match. As predicted, Spain, England, and the host nation, Germany, placed first in their group. Nevertheless, highly anticipated France was only able to finish second in Group D, with Austria unexpectedly taking first place. The top four third-place teams—Slovenia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Georgia—qualified, with Hungary and Croatia losing out. Let’s examine a preview of each of the eight Round of 16 matches:

Switzerland v Italy

Italy is still a work in progress going into their match against Switzerland on Saturday in Berlin, having only just edged out Croatia in their last Group B match.

The Swiss, who are expected to start with four Serie A players, will be a threat to the reigning champions. They proved in their 1-1 draw with Germany that they are more than capable of giving the big boys a rough time.

Germany v Denmark

Germany, who were revitalized under Julian Nagelsmann, were among the best teams in the group stage with Spain, and they will naturally be favored against Denmark, who struggled to finish second in the pitiful Group C behind England.

When playing the big nations, Germany will also have the support of Dortmund’s iconic Westfalenstadion on Saturday as they look to win a record-breaking fourth Euros championship. Denmark’s coach, Kasper Hjulmand, stated that his team always “steps up” for such occasions.

England v Slovakia

After winning Group C, England faced a soft landing against Slovakia on Sunday, despite three terribly disappointing performances against mediocre opposition.

Following Tuesday’s goalless draw with Slovenia, disgruntled supporters threw plastic cups at coach Gareth Southgate. If his team is to live up to the hype as one of the pre-tournament favorites, performances must improve.

Spain v Georgia

With a flawless nine points from Group B and a decisive victory over the Italians, Luis de la Fuente’s team has emerged as the most impressive team of the competition thus far.

Almost their whole starting lineup, which included standout wingers Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal, rested in Monday’s 1-0 victory over Albania, so anything less than a straightforward trip to the quarterfinals for Spain would be a major surprise in Cologne on Sunday.

But Georgia is the storybook team in this tournament, as they proved on Wednesday when they defeated Portugal.

France v Belgium

A pair of formidable teams who haven’t quite found their feet yet square off in Dusseldorf on Monday in what could be the match of the round.
Impressively, France qualified from Group D in second place. In a 1-1 draw with Poland that has already eliminated them, Kylian Mbappe is the only member of Didier Deschamps’ squad to score a goal, and he did so from the penalty spot.

Belgium, on the other hand, has shown strong play in spurts but was heckled by supporters on Wednesday in Stuttgart after their safety-first strategy against Ukraine allowed them to advance from Group E to the round of 16.

Portugal v Slovenia

Portugal, the overwhelming favorites to defeat Slovenia in Frankfurt on Monday, will have a first team that is largely rested under coach Roberto Martinez, who made a number of changes for the team’s defeat to Georgia on Wednesday that had no effect on the Group F winners.

Despite finishing third in Group C and scoring twice in three games, Slovenia did not perform well. However, Matjaz Kek’s team has won nine straight games and defeated Portugal 2-0 in a pre-tournament friendly.

Romania v Netherlands

The Dutch were hugely disappointing in Group D, finishing third behind Austria and France, and should be wary on Tuesday of Romania who are in the last 16 for the first time in 24 years after topping a tight Group E. However Ronald Koeman, who called his team “appalling” after losing 3-2 to Austria, has been rewarded for their underwhelming displays by being placed on the easier side of the knockout bracket where off-colour England and an unsure Italy are the only heavyweights.

Austria v Turkey

Austria, led by Ralf Rangnick, has been dubbed the tournament’s dangerous dark horse after defeating the Netherlands and France in Group D while displaying some thrilling football. Turkey’s match against Vincenzo Montella on Tuesday in Leipzig looks to be a fun one, as the talented team always has a strong fan base.

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