The Round of 16 is finally here.
Portugal is the defending European Cup champions, but France holds the bragging rights as the reigning World Cup champions. Germany, Italy, Spain and England are always dangerous and could make a championship run this year.
Here’s a complete breakdown at the Round of 16, with betting lines as well as my picks on the eight teams who will advance to the quarterfinals.
|Team||Odds To Win|
Italy vs. Austria
Italy cruised through Group A with three wins and was able to rest most of its players as well. Austria finished second in Group C as it defeated North Macedonia and Ukraine, and a 2-0 loss to the Netherlands.
Austria should put up a fight in the first half, but Italy’s talent will be too much to overcome in the second half. The Italians have had one of the most impressive starts to the tournament as they’ve scored seven goals and haven’t conceded any as well. In fact, Italy hasn’t conceded a goal in its last 10 matches, so if Austria can find the back of the net, the silver lining in what will likely be a loss is that it would be something the last 10 teams haven’t been able to do.
Prediction: Italy 2, Austria 0
Wales vs. Denmark
Wales got through Group A after a 1-1 draw with Switzerland, defeated Turkey 2-0 and then followed it up with a 1-0 loss to Italy. Meanwhile, Denmark has become the world’s favorite team after Christian Eriksen collapsed in a game against Finland, which the Dans ended up losing 1-0. The club then lost 2-1 to Belgium before bouncing back with a 4-1 victory over Russia to move on to the round of 16.
Even though this game does not have star power with the proverbial heavyweights (France, Spain, etc.), from a tactical standpoint, this match should be a lot of fun. Can Thomas Delaney and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg keep Gareth Bale in check? Will speed demon Daniel James get out on the break and isolate Denmark’s slower centerbacks? Can Mikkel Damsgaard and Joakim Maehle keep making magic happen? This match should come down to the wire, but Denmark has shown more promise so far in this tournament and will likely eke out a slim win.
Prediction: Denmark 2, Wales 1
Belgium vs. Portugal
Belgium cruised through Group B with a perfect record, scoring seven goals and giving up just one. However, Group B wasn’t that strong and Portugal is a very talented team, including having one of the greatest players of this generation in Cristiano Ronaldo.
Yes, Portugal finished third in its group, and while that doesn’t sound intimidating, the Portuguese also had to go up against the likes of Germany and France. Portugal lost 4-2 to Germany before rebounding with a 2-2 draw against France.
This game features the clash of European titans and will be must-see TV on Sunday. Portugal has a lot of offense firepower with Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota and Bruno Fernandes. At the same time, Belgium is deeply talented as well with Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku leading the way.
How the two defenses handle the aforementioned stars will go a very long way to determining which of the fancied pre-tournament teams marches on.
Prediction: Belgium 3, Portugal 2
Netherlands vs. Czech Republic
Playing in their first major tournament since the 2014 World Cup, the Netherlands didn’t waste any time as they coasted through Group C with a perfect 3-0 record, scoring eight goals while giving up just two. However, the Dutch played all those games in Amsterdam and haven’t been tested on the road in this tournament. That will change when they take on the Czech Republic in Budapest on Sunday.
Despite finishing third in Group D, the Czech still qualified for the Round of 16. The Czech defeated Scotland, drew against Croatia and lost 1-0 to England. Patrik Schick has played outstanding for the Czechs so far, scoring three goals in three games. He will need to lead the way again if the Czechs want to knock of the Dutch.
Prediction: Netherlands 2, Czech 1
Germany vs. England
This is arguably the best matchup of the Round of 16 as these two powerhouses square off against each other for the right to face the winner of Sweden/Ukraine in the quarterfinals.
Tuesday’s game will be played at Wembley Stadium, just as it did 25 years ago when Gareth Southgate’s saved spot kick helped Germany squeeze past England on penalties at EURO ’96. It’s just one of so many great endings in one of the best rivalries in soccer.
So far in this tournament, England has scored just two goals, however, it was also just one of two teams to keep three clean sheets during the group stage (along with Italy). The Three Lions beat Croatia (1-0) and the Czech Republic (1-0), and then had a 0-0 draw against Scotland.
Meanwhile, Germany hasn’t had a hard time scoring as the Germans scored 7 goals in Group F — or “the Group of Death.” Germany lost 1-0 to France, took down Portugal 4-2 and then put on a lackadaisical performance against Hungary in a 2-2 draw.
Playing in at home and in front of their fans, England will get a boost, but it likely won’t be enough against Germany.
Prediction: Germany 2, England 1
Spain vs. Croatia
Spain started the tournament off slowly with two draws but then cruised to a 5-0 victory over Slovakia to finish second in Group E behind Sweden. Meanwhile, Croatia took down Scotland in its last group game to finish second in Group D after losing to England as well as a 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic.
Spain will go into Monday’s game in Copenhagen, Denmark as the favorite, because well, they’re Spain. But Croatia won’t be a pushover, especially having won two out of the past three meetings. Each of those three games have come down to the wire as this one should as well.
Prediction: Spain 2, Croatia 2 (Spain wins on penalty kicks)
France vs. Switzerland
Playing in Group F, France came out on top in the “group of death” with an impressive win over Germany (1-0), a weird performance against Hungary (1-1). The team also had a 2-2 draw against Portugal in which two big mistakes resulted in two penalties for the Portuguese. France has looked like a top team and will remind everyone on Monday why it’s the favorite to win it all.
Switzerland has been a disappointment this tournament, finishing third in Group A with a draw against Wales (1-1), a 3-1 win over Tukey and a 3-0 loss to Italy.
France is the favorite to win it all so they should have no problem with Switzerland after going up against Germany and Portugal in group play. France’s dominance against Switzerland has been evident the last three decades as the Swiss haven’t beaten their neighbors since 1992.
Prediction: France 3, Switzerland 0
Sweden vs. Ukraine
Sweden started the tournament with a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Spain in their opener, then slipped past Slovakia (1-0) and Poland (3-2). This performance helped Sweden take the top spot in Group E, with Spain right behind.
Ukraine managed to get through as one of the best third-place teams despite losing two of their three Group C matches. In their opener against the Dutch, they came back from two goals down to level the match, only to lose 3-2 thanks to a goal in the 85th-minute by the Dutch. Ukraine managed to get past North Macedonia 2-1 thanks to strikes from Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk, however, they finished the group with a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Austria in Bucharest.
Ukraine will put up a good fight, but Sweden should be in full control from start to finish. Sweden has a terrific defense so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them sit on a 1-0 lead and rest players going into a showdown against Germany or England.
Prediction: Sweden 1, Ukraine 0