The Euro 2020 quarter finals kick off on Friday with Switzerland against Spain followed by Belgium against Italy.
On the other side of the draw, Denmark face the Czech Republic and Ukraine play against England.
After a whirlwind Round of 16, the stakes are high with the final in sight. Apart from England against Ukraine, it’s hard to call the rest of the Euro 2020 quarter finals.
Switzerland VS Spain
Neither of these teams were expected to make it this far. They both got here by winning what will be remembered as the highlight games of the tournament. Switzerland prevailed over France on penalties after a pulsating 3-3 draw, while Spain beat Croatia 5 – 3 in extra time.
The Swiss will be riding the crest of a wave after defeating the world champions. Meanwhile, Spain have found their groove. Nobody expected much of them, but they are the competition’s top scorers.
Belgium VS Italy
At times we can be granular and academic when we talk about football, and sometimes it’s quite simple. This tie is tasty. Belgium are the best team and probably the favourites, while Italy are the unexpected contenders. Belgium knocked out defending champions Portugal in the last round, and will be acutely aware that this is their golden generation’s last chance to win a major tournament.
Neutrals are fond of Belgium. However, after laying dormant for so long, there is more goodwill and curiosity towards Italy. Italy will give them a good game, but Belgium should use their experience to prevail.
Denmark VS Czech Republic
Another pair of teams who nobody expected to reach this point. The Czech republic won’t make any friends by beating Denmark after what happened to Christian Eriksen. However, they’re more than capable. Patrick Schick is the second top scorer in the tournament with four goals.
Denmark won’t lie down, though. Playing for their stricken teammate, they obliterated Wales 4 -0 in the round of 16. The Czechs will have to be at their best to hold them off.
Ukraine VS England
It would be incredibly English to lose to Ukraine after beating Germany in a major tournament for the first time since 1966. Although, Gareth Southgate’s iteration of England just feels different. They have yet to concede a goal, and appear to understand how to navigate a tournament.
As well as that, Ukraine beat Sweden in extra time in a round of 16 game that saw half the players unable to continue. They will be exhausted, and England should have too much for them.