The UEFA Euro 2016 tournament has reached the knock out stages, as the final 16 teams will face off. Continue reading for our Euro 2016 Round of 16 Preview and Betting Tips.
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Switzerland vs Poland (Saturday 11pm AEST)
These two sides lived up to their expectations and progressed through to the knock out stages with relative ease. Poland were able to hold the World Champions to a draw in a great performance as they showed their defensive capabilities as they are yet to concede a goal. However, they haven’t been dangerous on the other side of the field as they earned two narrow 1-0 victories against Northern Ireland and Ukraine. They will feel confident heading into this match as they have won four and lost just one of the 10 matches against Switzerland, however they have faced off against each other just once in the last 15 years and that International friendly finished in a 2-2 draw at the end of 2014.
Switzerland had their struggles in the group stage as they picked up just one win but they were able to hold tournament favourites and the home nation France to a 0-0 draw in their final game. The draw ensured they would advance to the quarterfinals and it should be another close match between these two sides. We are predicting for this match to head into overtime and possibly to penalties with both teams focusing on their defence whilst they have had struggles finding the back of the net.
Wales vs Northern Ireland (Sunday 2am AEST)
In this British face off, Wales will be looking to keep their successful tournament going after they finished on top of Group B. They did suffer a last minute loss to England but they defeated Slovakia in their opening match and finished off the group stages in style by defeating Russia 3-0. The Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale has played tremendously throughout the tournament and has found the back of the net in all three games to lead all scorers in the competition. He has made a massive impact in attack with his scoring but also his creativity as he poses a threat whenever he has the ball in his hands and giving opportunities for others as the defence is so worried about what Bale is capable of.
Wales have been given a favourable opponent in Northern Ireland who earned just the one victory against Romani in their pool stages. They showed solid defence and conceded just two goals across their three games but the level of play will increase as we reach the Round of 16.
Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey and Bale will combine to lift Wales into the quarterfinals with a hard fought victory.
Croatia vs Portugal (Sunday 5am AEST)
One of the most disappointing teams and players throughout the group stages of the Euro 2016 has been Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo. They were lucky to advance as they haven’t earned a victory and were forced to settle for three draws whilst it took Ronaldo until his final group stage match when he grabbed a double. The Real Madrid star also uncharacteristically missed a penalty goal that cost his side a victory. This lack of success has forced them to face off against a tough opponent in the round of 16 and Croatia will enter this match full of confidence.
Croatia had the opposite group stage to Portugal as they had a lot of success in their opening three matches. They finished on the top of a very tough group that had two-time defending champions Spain in it as they snapped Spain’s 14-game undefeated streak in the European competition. Luka Modric has been massive for the Croatian side and he will look to again dominate the midfield in this contest. He didn’t play in the match against Spain, which demonstrates the side has the capabilities of winning without him and he will enter the match against Portugal fresh.
Portugal have had a lot of success in the Euro’s in the past but it doesn’t seem as if it will be their year with their poor performances to start the tournament. Taking this into account it is hard to back them against a Croatian side that has been playing very well. Portugal will need a lot more from their Ballon d’or winner if they are going to cause an upset.
France vs Ireland (Sunday 11pm AEST)
The host nation France has made it through the group stages undefeated and with only conceding the one goal but their success could have easily been a failure as in their opening two-games they had to rely on last minute winners to get them over the line whilst they were unable to find the breakthrough against Switzerland in their final group match.
Meanwhile Ireland will be riding a massive high into their round of 16 match. They needed to defeat Italy to advance through and a winner in the final 5-minutes of regulation time was enough for the Irish to advance despite being in one of the tougher groups with Belgium and Sweden too.
France are massive favourites to win this match and to advance through to the quarterfinals and in front of their home crowd it is understandable. They will lift with the energy within the stadium sure to be amazing. We are predicting that France will advance but with them relying on last minute goals in the group stages and at such a short price we believe steering clear of this match is best.
TIP: No bet
Germany vs Slovakia (Monday 2am AEST)
The powerhouse Germany hasn’t started the tournament with their normal dominate fashion with their biggest talking point for the side in the group stages was their coach Joachim Low and his unusual habits. Despite this, they were still able to finish on the top of their group and they will feel incredibly confident at advancing as they take on Slovakia in the Round of 16. They haven’t conceded a goal in their three matches but they have managed to find the back of the net on just three occasions which is unusual for a side that is known for its attacking ability.
Slovakia earned the one win against Russia in the group stages but they managed to hold England to a draw in their final match. They didn’t offer much in attack scoring just three goals whilst conceding three themselves. They don’t quite have the team to match the star power that Germany has and it shows with the odds at the bookmakers. We are predicting a comfortable win for the Germans as they step things up to another gear in the knock out stages.
Hungary vs Belgium (Monday 5am AEST)
Belgium started the competition with a disappointing 2-0 loss to Italy but since then they have looked superb with their young stars combining nicely for two convincing victories. Everton’s Romelu Lukaku was terrific against the Republic of Ireland and Eden Hazard has overcame his poor form for Chelsea this season to play well in the final two games. They will need these two players to be at a high level in attack if they are to continue to find the back of the net.
Hungary were one of the best sides during the group stages and they deserved their spot on the top of the table in Group F. They almost defeated Portugal after they had the lead on three separate occasions but they were forced to settle for a draw in the six-goal thriller. The side remains undefeated but they will face their biggest challenge of the tournament against Belgium.
Whilst Hungary were strong in their opening three matches of Euro 2016, they were placed in the most favourable group in the competition. Belgium are a young and strong side and they will earn the victory in this one.
Italy vs Spain (Tuesday 2am AEST)
In the biggest match of the round of 16, this mouth-watering clash has a rematch of the 2012 final that saw Spain come out on top as champions. Italy will want to get revenge for that loss and they will be confident as Spain is definitely a vulnerable team. Spain is still full of quality players but the majority of the side is nearing the end of their careers as they are an aging team. They have won the last two European competitions and this could be the end of their dynasty.
The Italians are a side that always produces their best performances on the biggest stage and they have had a lot of success at previous European competitions and World Cups. Italy has adopted the defence that Juventus was using at club level with a lot of their players coming out of the Serie A side. They were convincing in their win against Belgium but they cruised in their next match against Sweeden before they suffered a loss to the Republic of Ireland when their place in the round of 16 was locked up.
This match could be entertaining with Spain likely to dominate possession whilst Italy will look to capitalise on the break. Spain is the overwhelming favourites to win this match but it is hard to overlook Italy in this one. We are predicting an upset and for Italy to advance to the quarterfinals.
England vs Iceland (Tuesday 5am AEST)
The English were disappointed to finish in second place in their group but they would have been pleased to see that they will be facing Iceland in the round of 16. However, if 2016 has shown us anything it is not to underestimate an underdog as Leiciester City was able to overcome all the odds to win the Premier League and we could be in for another Cinderella story if Iceland is able to continue their impressive performances in the Euro 2016. Iceland has a population of just 300,000 and 10% of their population has been at the stadiums cheering on their side as they compete in their first ever major competition. They have earned a lot of respect and shouldn’t be underestimated after they drew with Portugal and defeated Austria in their final match to ensure they progress to the round of 16.
England’s struggles in major tournaments continued as they allowed a last minute goal from Russia, which had them settling for a draw and despite defeating Russia they were again unable to worry the scoring against Slovakia in their final group match. They have had a lot of trouble finding the back of the net and capitalising on their opportunities and they will need to be more lethal in front of goal as the longer the match stays at 0-0 the more Iceland will begin to grow in confidence. However, England does have such a strong squad and it is inevitable that they find their goal scoring boots. Wayne Rooney didn’t start against Slovakia and the side clearly missed him as he has been by far their best player and has been good at creating chances for the team. He will be reinserted into the starting line up which will help Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy up front.
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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