Quarter-Final thoughts and Score Predictions: Euros 2020
July 2nd, 2021 | Football
Below are my thoughts on each of the quarter-final fixtures along with predicted winners and scores. I’d like to stress I don’t like predicting football scores, as it’s the unpredictability of the game is something I love. But I’ve just gone with a scoreline that’s in keeping with my thoughts on the respective fixtures.
Switzerland v Spain
An interesting game. Switzerland were really impressive against the World Champions France last time out advancing on penalties. They deserved to draw the game 3-3, in which they came from two goals down with ten minutes to go to get the game to extra-time. Plenty of grit and spirit was shown in the 120 minutes against France and they’ll need to show it again against a difficult to judge Spain side. They seemed toothless up front at the beginning of the tournament, and while I still think they lack a world-class player in those front-three positions, they have begun to show their goal-scoring credentials, scoring ten goals in two games. The defence looked a little uncertain last time out against Croatia, something I think Switzerland can capitalise on from their quality delivery in wide areas, shown last time out from Zuber, and the threat of their two strikers. The pacey and strong Embolo and the good in the air Seferovic, a good old-fashioned strike-partnership. I also thought Gavranovic was good off the bench against France, meaning they have depth in those attacking areas. I know this is a controversial opinion, but I think Switzerland have a real chance of winning this game. I can see Spain dominating possession for long-spells, before getting exposed on the counterattack, or by the movement of Switzerland’s front two. Switzerland were solid against France and conceded three goals of undeniable quality, no real defensive errors or laps in concentration. I believe Spain will huff and puff, struggle to break down a solid Switzerland defence and midfield, and ultimately get hit on the counterattack. I think Switzerland can keep out the Spain attack, score in the first sixty minutes or so, before sealing the win with a late counterattack.
Predicted Winner: Switzerland. Score Prediction: 2-0
Belgium v Italy
Probably the standout fixture of the Quarter Finals. Belgium the no.1 ranked team in the world against the really impressive of late Italy. This will be a close game. Both teams have experienced defences, calm and quality midfields, along with world-class forwards. Having said all that, I think both teams will score. Lukaku’s pace, movement and strength will cause any centre-back pairing problems, despite the experience of Chiellini and Bonucci. But I think the same about Immobile, with the support from Insigne, against a slow and sometimes caught out Belgium back-three, most recently Vertongan, Vermaelen and Alderweireld.
Obviously, Belgium have the quality of Kevin De Bruyne and Youri Tielemans. But Italy have a more possession based, short passing midfield with Jorginho, Barella and likely Verratti. Locatelli has also looked impressive off the bench.
I look at both teams and can only see a penalty shootout after 120 minutes of slugging away at each other. And in a penalty shootout anything can happen. Both teams have regular penalty-takers and it is a tough one to pick. But I’d just lean towards the slightly more technical Italians.
Predicted Winner: Italy. Score Prediction: 1-1… Italy win on penalties.
Czech Republic v Denmark
I think this will be a very close game. The Czechs have impressed so far. Defending as a team, making the most of attacking opportunities when they get forwards and looking like a real team. But the exact same could be said for Denmark. After the horrific scenes involving Christian Eriksen, it seems as though Denmark have a real togetherness and team spirit. Despite losing their opening two games, they advanced and battered Wales 4-0. Both teams have solid backlines, defensively sound midfields and in-form strikers. Patrik Schick, of the Czech Republic, has been one the standout players of the tournament so far. His finishing ability and movement in and around the box has been impressive and has four goals in four games. And for Denmark Dolberg scored two brilliant goals against Wales, meaning his confidence, along with the rest of the Denmark team will be sky high.
The Czechs have been winning games and have done well to get to this stage. But I think the togetherness of that Denmark team along with their solid back-three keeping tabs on Patrik Schick is enough to think they’ll edge this Czech Republic side.
I think both teams will score, but I think Denmark can score one more than the Czechs with their goal scoring confidence from last time out.
Predicted Winner: Denmark. Score Prediction: 2-1
England v Ukraine
I’ve written my extended thoughts on this game in a separate article, found on this website, but will briefly share my thoughts.
What a chance England have here. The chance to make it to a second major-tournament semi-final in a row, this time at Wembley in front of 50,000 of their own fans. All that’s standing in their way, a spirited Ukraine side.
I think Ukraine will go for a 3-5-2 shape, surrender possession and try and keep England out for as long as possible. But if England are positive, patient, keep their concentration and don’t do anything stupid, they should comfortably. Ukraine aren’t here on merit. They’ve beaten a solid Sweden side and deserve to be here as much as England and will defend well at times. But with the quality England have off the back of beating Germany 2-0, and the confidence running through Raheem Sterling and an off the mark Harry Kane, I can only see a convincing win for the three lions.
Ukraine will keep it tight, but England’s superior possession will mean fatigue for the Ukrainians and gaps for England to exploit.
Predicted Winner: England. Score Prediction: 4-0
Please note: The football articles that feature on this site are being written by Jack Dixon as part of his work experience. He is a teenager and looking for work experience within the football industry. He is currently studying for his media and art A-levels.