EURO 2016: Quarter-Final Predictions: France to End Iceland Fairytale, Wales vs Belgium to Go to the WirePublished June 30, 2016
The Euro 2016 quarter-finalists have been revealed, and just as the group stages provided us with shocks aplenty, the round of last 16 followed suit in dramatic fashion.
Germany, France, Belgium, Wales, Portugal, and Poland may have been a lot of people’s tips to make it to the last eight, but Italy’s surprising victory over Spain, and Iceland’s shock victory over England, proved that with stakes so high, there is little margin for error or complacency.
Ahead of this week’s quarter-final encounters, we at Free Bets, make our game-by-game predictions.
Poland v Portugal – Thursday 30 June
Both these sides were made to work extremely hard for their spots in the last eight. Portugal needed extra time to narrowly beat Croatia 1-0, whilst Poland advanced after a penalty shootout victory over Switzerland.
Poland have looked far more impressive than Portugal during the tournament, but you just get the feeling that Cristiano Ronaldo and co, have found a way of getting the job done.
This game is too close to call, Portugal may just prevail but they will need one hundred and twenty minutes in order to do so.
Prediction: 1-2 (After extra time)
Wales v Belgium – Friday 1 July
Despite a sluggish start to the tournament, it seems like Marc Wilmots’ side have clicked in to gear. Eden Hazard seems to finally be back to something like his best, whilst Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku look extremely dangerous too.
Wales struggled somewhat against Northern Ireland during their last 16 encounter, but with Gareth Bale in top form you always have a chance.
Chris Coleman’s side were unbeaten against Belgium during the qualifying rounds, and it may take penalties for them to finally be beaten.
Prediction: 1-1 AET (Belgium to win on penalties)
Germany v Italy – Saturday July 2
Germany’s emphatic 3-0 victory over Slovakia was a sign that once again Joachim Low’s side are at their very best when the pressure is on.
The introduction of Mario Gomez into the German starting XI, has made a real difference upfront, while at the other end, Germany are yet to conceded a goal during the tournament.
Italy shocked many after seeing off defending champions Spain in the last 16, with relative ease.
Antonio Conte’s side look extremely well organised, and won’t fear any team left in the tournament.
Expect Germany to just edge this one.
France v Iceland – Sunday 3 July
Les Bleus have found a way of winning matches, when not at their best, and the last 16 encounter against the Republic of Ireland was no different.
In Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet, and Antoine Griezmann, the hosts possess world class players who can turn a game around in an instant.
Iceland shocked the footballing world with a 2-1 victory over England, but unlike Roy Hodgson’s side, the French won’t bottle it when it really counts.
Lars Lagerback can be really proud of his side’s efforts during the tournament, but Iceland’s fairy-tale journey will most likely come to an end on Sunday.