My apologies first for not releasing this forecast before the group stage. You are right, I could not predict the Round of 16 but blame it to the weird expanded format that UEFA introduced this year, making it really, really hard to predict even the places of teams not until the last whistle of the last match was heard throughout the pitch. I don’t get the third place format. There are many countries in Europe to fill 32 teams so why did they not go that way. Ah don’t mind me; I was just still not over from the fact that Netherlands is a no show on this continental competition.
Round of 16
Switzerland v Poland
Both Switzerland and Poland finished second in their respective groups but looking into the teams they played against, Poland so far has the most impressive performance, beating the much-stronger-than-expected Northern Ireland 1-0 while upsetting the world titleholder Germany by having a draw on their match. In this match I predict that Poland will win.
Croatia v Portugal
Apart from the spectacular goals from Cristiano Ronaldo (especially against Hungary), Portugal’s performance so far was abysmal,drawing three of their group stage matches and finishing only in third place. Croatia, on the other hand, has had a stellar performance, topping Group D by leaving the continental titleholder Spain speechless via a 2-1 win in their last match. In this match I will predict that Croatia will win.
Wales v Northern Ireland
Wow what a match between two teams which are almost identical from their tactics and moves (up to their country). This is an exciting team to watch. While Wales stunned England by topping Group B (though they lost against England 2-1), I think Northern Ireland’s performance in its group (with Germany and Poland) will push them through the quarterfinals. This is a risky prediction seeing that Wales topped its group while Northern Ireland landed just in third place. But I predict Northern Ireland will win.
Hungary v Belgium
Hungary’s three goals against Portugal were impressive (with some luck involved) but Belgium’s performance in Group E where it scored three goals against the surprisingly good Republic of Ireland side was a stunner. Though they conceded two goals against Italy, I think Belgium will win in this one seeing that Hungary did not have much of a challenge in its group what with the lackluster performance of Portugal and Iceland. Again this is a risky prediction seeing Hungary topped Group F but I will stick with Belgium.
Germany v Slovakia
Die Mannschaft will win period. Okay haha I was biased there. Slovakia’s performance was impressive: winning against Russia, a draw against England albeit losing to Wales with one goal. They topped the third placers so that’s something. The positioning UEFA created for this tournament is weird, placing the top finisher among the third placers in a match not against, say the top team of the group stage? Again, weird.Germany has had a not so impressive performance but two of the teams, Poland and Northern Ireland are good teams and they have a win and a draw against them. Definitely Germany on this match.
Italy v Spain
Spain’s performance in the group stage was also abysmal while Italy has been great so far (apart from conceiding a goal in the late minutes of their match against Republic of Ireland, that was so irresponsible). Italy will win this one but it will be close. Among the Round of 16 matches, I am most excited with this one.
France v Republic of Ireland
Ireland’s performance on the group stage was not that great, sorry Niall Horan. That late goal against Italy was just luck. France will win against them, one because they are the host and two because they have the much stronger line up.
England v Iceland
England’s not so impressive performance was expected (sorry Rooney), drawing against the Russians, can you believe it? Iceland meanwhile has had a great run, especially on its draw against Portugal at Saint-Étienne. I’ll placing my bet on England though, on account that, like France, they have the much stronger line up.
Poland v Croatia
Poland is the much stronger team though I could see a possibility that Croatia could snatch this one from them. But Poland it is.
Northern Ireland v Belgium
Belgium will breeze through this one, sorry Northern Ireland, but strong defense and relentless attack are needed to beat this team.
Germany v Italy
Wow what a match! I think Germany will have this one on account that it has the much stronger keeper, and I am counting on Hector and Draxler for the goals. Though Italy has Sturaro and Sciglio which I am hoping will be back soon.
France v England
France could take this one though this is tricky, like choosing who will score a goal first, Rooney or Giroud? Well I am betting for France to win this one, because it’s too early for the host to go.
Poland v Belgium
I have a funny feeling that this will be an even match, it might go to the penalties even, but if in regular time Belgium can score a goal, they could go to the finals. Poland will win if it goes to penalties. Poland has the stronger side so I’ll have my bet on Poland.
Germany v France
The classic 2014 World Cup will soon be repeated. I still think Germany has the much stronger line up though France could still win. They just need beef up their offense. But I call Germany on this match.
FINALS: POLAND v GERMANY
Their group stage match ended in a draw but that’s just because Germany was sloppy and Poland was good, unluckily for them they have Manuel Neuer to beat. I think Germany, the world titleholders, will win the Euro 2016.