Euro 2020 round of 16 teams
After an exciting group stage, Euro 2020 brings us an even more interesting round of 16 considering that from here on it is direct elimination, that is, each match must give us a winner, which gives it a lot of emotion and drama. Now we will talk a little about the 16 teams that are staying alive in the tournament.
Wales: Gareth Bale’s team was already a surprise in the previous edition and this year they are already in the round of 16, proving to be quite a solid team on defensive terms and with an ease for the counterattack with fast and technical players such as the still Real Madrid player, Aaron Ramsey, Manchester United’s Daniel James or the surprise of the team, Kieffer Moore.
Denmark: After what happened with Christian Eriksen in the debut against Finland, the tournament became a roller coaster of emotions for the Danes who have shown themselves to be a resilient and energetic team, with little creativity and possession but with a lot of pressing and physical strength.
Italy: One of the three national teams that had a perfect record in the group stage although Italy was the only one not to receive goals. The reality is that speaking of the tournament’s biggest surprises, the Azurra has been the team that has given the best sensations since its possession-based and attacking style play has captured the attention of all the fans. It is also true that they did not had a top rival so far and it does not seem that Austria is going to be a big challenge in that particular regard.
Austria: Although Austria has not shown a brilliant level, it has been proven that they have players of a very decent competitive level. The biggest challenge in the group stage was the Netherlands where they paid due to clear defensive mistakes. They will need a very solid match against the Italians to reach the quarterfinals.
Netherlands: Regardless of whether they play the classic 4-3-3 or the 5-3-2, which has been a running controversy with the media in that country, the Netherlands have had a very attacking playing style, with the midfielders and full backs proving to be great threats in that regard. The Netherlands have had great individual performances such as captain Wijnaldum, Depay or Dumfries. Their round of 16 and quarter-finals seem to be favorable, so they seem candidates to at least reach the semi-finals.
Czech Republic: Group D was one of the most even and the Czech team was a tough rival for all their rivals with a great performance by Patrik Schick, who has scored 3 goals in 3 games played, one being of the best in the tournament. The Netherlands will be quite a tough opponent for the Czechs.
Belgium: Interestingly, despite finishing in first place in their group, Belgium had a rather difficult rival in the round of 16, Portugal. De Bruyne, Lukaku or Tielemans have had a great Euro and the Belgian team in general has lived up to the expectations that accompany them from the beginning. The round of 16’s match against Portugal will be one of the most balanced of the tournament.
Portugal: Portugal was drawn into a very complicated group where they showed themselves as an unpredictable rival who may not seem dangerous but one that finds opportunities to score due to their counterattacking style. Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer of the tournament with five goals. Perhaps Portugal’s way of playing is the most appropriate to hurt the Belgian team.
Croatia: Dalic’s team has grown throughout the tournament. Spain is a team that plays to have the ball and that is a factor that Croatia has to know how to handle in that sense, playing to take advantage of ball recoveries and quick passing, a game where Modric’s role plays a crucial role.
Spain: Spain has tried to repeat the way of playing that led them to their great successes between 2008 and 2012. The big problem for Spain has been the lack of effectiveness when it comes to scoring, but once they improved that aspect against Slovakia, they pulled off a whopping 5-0 win.
France: The big favorite had some complications to overcome the group although they managed to do it in the first place. The large numbers of stars is a huge failsafe for them since any of these top players can solve a match. Switzerland does not seem to be a rival that can complicate Les bleus although there is a close antecedent to the match against Hungary that created certain doubts regarding the French team.
Switzerland: Petkovic’s team has a game plan that relies on the wings and very fast attackers like Embolo and Shaqiri, but they have shown deficiencies in defense that against a national team like France can cost them dearly.
England: The English case is curious since it seems that they haven’t played their best footballers considering that they haven’t played the likes of Rashford, Sancho or Grealish in the usual starting elevens but they have managed to obtain good results that allowed them to qualify as first of their group. Germany is a team that is always complicated and against which England could be harmed by the difference in experience between the two squads.
Germany: Germany is Germany. We could talk about the game against France where they were defeated by the world champions or the draw against Hungary, but the Germans have historically gotten stronger as they progress in the competitions and in the round of 16 they have a rival who is young, whereas Neuer, Muller or Kroos can bring out their experience and quality.
Sweden: A lot of football fans have gotten a very defensive image of Sweden, mainly due to the match against Spain, but attacking players of Isak and Forsberg’s quality are having a good tournament and their individual talents can be decisive against Ukraine.
Ukraine: Ukraine was the fourth best third of the six groups, that is, the last team to qualify for the round of 16. Shevchenko has a solid team that has Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk and Malinovskyi as its main weapons. Ukraine has found it easy to reach the back of the net and that may be their best argument against Sweden. It is a game that is more even than it may seem from the group stage.
This is a brief summary of how the teams that remain in the Euro are doing for this round of 16.