Who Will Face Wales In the Euro 2016 Quarter-Finals?

Posted on by Sreya

France vs Sweden

The UEFA Euro 2016 knock-outs began in a similar fashion to that of the group stages – a dearth of goals and one surprising result. The scoring trend in this summer’s championship has shown a distinct lack of goals in spite of clear cut chances been created by most teams – with poor finishing and excellent individual defending being the primary reasons.

Poland went through to the last eight after defeating Switzerland on penalties. A brilliant piece of individual skill from Xherdan Shaqiri helped the Swiss come into level terms after Poland had taken a lead early into the second half.

Wales defeated Northern Ireland after a heartbreaking own goal from McAuley late into the second half in a match where neither team could establish their supremacy. The biggest upset of the night was caused by Portugal when they won against Group D winners Croatia. Ricardo Quaresma found the back of the net three minutes from the completion of extra time with Portugal’s first shot on target.

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Hungary will face Belgium at Toulouse, Germany will meet Slovakia Villeneuve-d’Ascq while the hosts France will try to get past Republic of Ireland at Lyon tonight.

France have not met Republic of Ireland, who pulled off a dramatic 1-0 victory against Italy to make it through to the knockouts since the 2010 FIFA World Cup play-off. According to Head-2-Head statistics, France have won six and lost four of the sixteen encounters between these two nations till date.

Didier Deschamps has a completely healthy squad to choose from but Martin O’Neil will be without the injured Stephen Ward. France are expected to go through but Ireland (the surprise package of this summer’s championship) could give the tournament favorites a tough fight.

The World Champions Germany are expected to breeze past Slovakia, considering their Head-2-Head record of seventeen wins in twenty eight meetings, but it is yet to be seen whether Joachim Loew is able to find a source of goals among his talented but inexperienced squad.

The most promising contest of the night will definitely be between Hungary and Belgium. Hungary topped Group F while Belgium finished runners-up to Italy in Group E. Belgium’s golden generation has had a mixed tournament until now, with impressive performances against Republic of Ireland and Sweden but a struggling show against the tactically superior Italy.

The pressure will be on the star-studded Belgian lineup, but Hungary cannot be ruled out by any means, for they do pack a punch among their ranks and an inspired performance could see Bernd Storck’s side meet Wales in the last eight of the Euro 2016.

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