What a tournament it’s been so far! Euro “2020” has truly had it all; a record number of own goals and penalty misses, the emotional roller coaster surrounding Christian Eriksen and Denmark, the absolute chaos of the round of 16, and plenty more storylines that would have made the cut if this were any other tournament. Now there are an illustrious eight teams remaining, a mixed bag with few traditional powerhouses remaining. But who makes it to the semis?
Switzerland vs Spain
If this match is anything like the previous ones for each respective country, then we are due for a stellar opening of the quarterfinals. Switzerland’s miracle comeback against the reigning World Cup champions is, without a doubt, the game of the year, as Switzerland put on a peak performance. Their opponents are no joke either. While Spain are a shell of their former selves, they still have the ability to run up the scoreboard, despite all the chances squandered by Alvaro Morata.
Prediction: Switzerland 2 – 1 Spain
Belgium vs Italy
On paper, this is arguably the best knockout matchup yet, with both squads packed to the brim with established talent. If Kevin De Bruyne is indeed out for Belgium, I give the slight edge to Italy. Belgium need to step up if they want one last shot at European glory with their golden generation. Their aging predicament can be most clearly seen at the back, an area of weakness Italy will look to exploit. Ciro Immobile is the standout name on the team sheet, but the Italians have an abundance of capable goal scorers.
Prediction: Belgium 3 – 2 Italy AET
Czech Republic vs Denmark
From two teams who swept the group stage to two who had a combined point total of seven, we move to a less flashy matchup, but not a less interesting one. Patrick Schick has emerged as a star for the Czechs, with eyes on the Golden Boot. One more strike would see Schick tied for the lead with 5 goals. Schick and company face the most cohesive unit east of the Atlantic, an inspired Denmark team that has been on a tear as of late. With a total of 8 goals scored in their last two games, the Danes have rallied exceptionally after an emotional start.
Prediction: Czech Republic 1 – 3 Denmark
Ukraine vs England
The quarterfinals culminate in what looks to be the most one-sided affair. Ukraine are a decent team and deserve to be here, but they pale in comparison to the world class talent and depth of the Three Lions. After dealing a decisive defeat to the Deutsch, England fans are as overconfident as ever heading into the quarterfinals. If football is really coming home, they’ll have to take care of the Ukranians first, and it will only get more difficult after.
Prediction: Ukraine 0 – 1 England