Although we have the final set of Group games to be played at Euro 2020 today, with the final two matches in Group E and also Group F, we still only know for certain two of the eight Round of 16 matches that will kick start the next phase of the tournament.
While we know for sure that Group Winners Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and England will be in the knockout phase, alongside the four runners up Wales, Denmark, Austria and Croatia, plus we know that Switzerland and Czech Republic will qualify as two of the four best third placed teams, we still don’t know exactly who will play who.
What we do know is that the first two games of the Round of 16 will be played on Saturday and this will feature Wales taking on Denmark in Amsterdam, while later on in the evening we will switch venues to Wembley, London where Italy will play Austria for a place in the quarterfinals.
From the Round of 16 onwards, all games will be played to a conclusion, which means 30 minutes of extra time and then penalties used to decide the winner if no team lands the win in normal or extra time.
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Let’s now take a look at how the Round of 16 is shaping up.
Euros Round of 16 Fixtures
Saturday 26th June
- Wales v Denmark (5pm, Amsterdam)
- Italy v Austria (8pm, London)
Sunday 27th June
- Netherlands V 3rd place team in Groups D, E or F (5pm, Budapest)
- Belgium V 3rd place team in Groups A/D/E or F (8pm, Seville)
Monday 28th June
- Croatia V Group E Runners Up (5pm, Copenhagen)
- Group F Winners V 3rd Place Team from Groups A, B or C (8pm, Bucharest)
Tuesday 29th June
- England V Group F Runners Up (5pm, London)
- Group E Winners V 3rd in Groups A, B, C or D (8pm, Glasgow)
The exact fixture list will be completed after the final group games tonight and once we know which four teams qualify as the best third placed teams. Depending on which groups those teams are from, it will determine who lines up against the Netherlands, Belgium and the winners of Groups E and F.
The ties of the round are likely to be the the games involving the Netherlands or Belgium (who could well face a third placed team from Group F), as well as England’s game against the runner up in Group F.
With Group F teams comprising of France, Portugal and Germany, as well as Hungary, it does look like those two games involving teams finishing 2nd and possibly 3rd in Group F will be the big games of the Round of 16.
Of course, with so many games still to be decided, we can only focus our tips this week on the two games taking place on Saturday, so we will bring you our preview and tips for each of these games below.
Round of 16 – Saturday 26th June
Wales v Denmark
Two runners up from Groups A and B will meet in Amsterdam in the first game of the Round of 16, kicking off at 5pm UK time.
Wales did exceptionally well to come through behind the Italians in Group A, their four point haul and better goal difference enough to lift them above Switzerland in the table. The Dragons will rely on their star duo of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey once again against a Denmark side who beat them home and away in the Nations League back in 2018.
With Ethan Ampadu suspended, Joe Morrell will likely earn a place in midfield alongside Joe Allen, with Gale and Ramsey joined by Daniel James behind tall striker Kieffer Moore. Joe Rodon and Chris Mepham have been solid in defence for the Welsh too, despite their tender years, while Danny Ward has fully justified his selection in goal ahead of Wayne Hennessey.
- Wales V Switzerland – D 1-1 (Moore)
- Wales V Turkey – W 2-0 (Ramsey, C.Roberts)
- Wales V Italy – L 0-1
Probable Wales Team – (4-2-3-1) – Ward, Roberts.C, Davies.B, Mepham, Rodon, Allen, Morrell, James, Ramsey, Bale, Moore.
After the shocking scenes in their opening game with Christian Eriksen, Denmark have produced two excellent performances against Belgium and Russia in their following two games. Although they went down to a very strong Belgian team in their second game, a 4-1 win over Russia saw Denmark nab the second placed spot in the group behind Belgium.
The resilience the Danes have shown has been superb and their performances have been very good, especially against Russia where they were fully deserving of that 4-1 victory. They also have a good record against Wales, winning the last two games the teams have played and winning six of the ten games the teams have played, Wales winning the other four.
Mikkel Damsgaard has caught the eye with some fine performances in midfield, while Poulsen has scored in both the last two games. Hojbjerg, Vestergaard, Delaney and Braithwaite are also mainstays of the team and Kasper Schmeichel and Simon Kjaer are the rock solid heart of the team in goal and central defence.
- Denmark V Finland – L 0-1
- Denmark V Belgium – L 1-2 (Poulsen)
- Denmark V Russia – W 4-1 (Damsgaard, Poulsen, Christensen, Maehle)
Probable Denmark Team – (3-4-3) – Schmeichel, Christensen, Vestergaard, Kjaer, Wass, Maehle, Delaney, Hojbjerg, Damsgaard, Braithwaite, Poulsen
Our Tip – This will be a close one and don’t be surprised if extra time or penalties are needed to decide the winner. As such, I am going for a 1-1 draw with the game being decided in favour of the Welsh on penalties. The 1-1 draw at 90 minutes is 6/1 with bet365.
Italy V Austria
How impressive have Italy been in this tournament? Seven goals scored, none conceded, three wins from their group games and unbeaten in 30 games, the last ten without a goal being conceded. They are not just fantastic stats, they are some of the best in Italian football history.
There are those that point out Italy hasn’t had a real test against a top European side as yet and that is fair comment, but even so, they have played some sumptuous football at times and for me, they look the team most likely to go all the way.
Roberto Mancini seems to know his best team and I doubt he will change that here and I think Italian fans will be expecting a place in the quarterfinals to be achieved without too much of a problem.
- Italy V Turkey – W 3-0 (Demiral OG, Immobile, Insigne)
- Italy V Switzerland – W 3-0 (Locatelli 2, Immobile)
- Italy V Wales – W 1-0 (Pessina)
Probable Italy Team – (4-2-3-1) – Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Spinazzola, Bonucci, Bastoni, Verratti, Jorginho, Locatelli, Berardi, Immobile, Insigne
A solid win in their opening game against North Macedonia laid the foundation for Austria to qualify from this group, but it did take a 1-0 win over Ukraine to clinch the second place spot in the group ahead of the Ukraine.
Their best player, David Alaba, started the tournament in a sweeping role but played as a more orthodox left back against Ukraine and looked much the better for it. It will be interesting to see if the Austrians decide to persist with Alaba at left back against this talented Italian side.
Marko Arnautovic should play in attack and he can cause the Italian defence problems, but in truth, I think the Austrians are really up against it in this one.
- Austria V North Macedonia – W 3-1 (Lainer, Gregoritsch, Arnautovic)
- Austria V Netherlands – L 0-2
- Austria V Ukraine – W 1-0 (Baumgartner)
Probable Austria Team – (4-3-2-1) – Bachmann, Lainer, Alaba, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Laimer, Schlager, Grillitsch, Sabitzer, Baumgartner, Arnautovic
Our Tip – This is an easy one for me as I think Italy are the in form team in this tournament at the moment and there is no way I can see Austria getting anything from this game. Take Italy to win 2-0 at 6/1.