Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Euro 2016 quarter-finals: Who's left, who plays whom. ..Read All Juicy Details Here

 After two stunning results in France on Monday, the complete list of quarter-finalists is known. We take a look at what's still to come at Euro 2016.With Italy knocking out Spain and Iceland outclassing England, the last eight is about as far from the bookies' predictions as anyone could have dreamt of even a few days ago.  ....With Italy knocking out Spain and Iceland outclassing England, the last eight is about as far from the bookies' predictions as anyone could have dreamt of even a few days ago.

Poland v Portugal

When is the match? Where is it being played?
Poland v Portugal kicks off at 8pm on Thursday 30th June at Stade Velodrome in Marseille.
How did the two teams get there?
Poland finished second in Group C without conceding a single goal, and it took a world-class bicycle kick for them to be take to penalties by Switzerland in the last-16. They needed penalties to win that one, and while they've been tight at the back they've never really looked like scoring freely.
Portugal sneaked into the knockout stage despite failing to win a single match in Group F, and looked all-but-certain to be forced into a shootout againstCroatia until a goal deep in extra time from Ricardo Quaresma.
Portugal's Ricardo Quaresma scores the winner against Croatia
What's their head-to-head form?
These teams have met on 10 previous occasions. Portugal won four and Poland three (3 draws). Two of those matches were in tournaments, at the group stages of the 1986 and 2002 World Cups. Poland won in 1986, Portugal in 2002.
Bookies' view
Poland 3/1, Portugal 5/4, Draw 2/1
To qualify: Poland 6/4 Portgual 4/7
Our prediction
Portugal will have drawn a lot of confidence from taking down Croatia, who were among the best teams in the tournament during the group stage; Poland, meanwhile, look like they're struggling with Robert Lewandowski suffering a serious international goal drought right now. We'd expect Portugal to come through this one, probably with a 1-0 victory.
Wales v Belgium
When is the match? Where is it being played?
Wales v Belgium kicks off at 8pm on Friday 1st July at Stade Pierre Mauroy inLille.
How did the two teams get there?
Wales pulled off some storming results to top Group B, but toiled to battle past a dogged Northern Ireland team in the last-16.
Belgium finished second best to an impressive Italy side in Group D, but subsequent annihilations of Ireland and Hungary showed that they - and particularly star player Eden Hazard - are in potentially lethal form.
What's their head-to-head form?
Of their 12 matches Belgium have won five, Wales four and three have been drawn. But most germane are the recent qualifying clashes for this very tournament: Wales held Belgium 0-0 in Brussels before winning the return match in Cardiff 1-0 just over 12 months ago.
Bookies' view
Belgium 8/11, Wales 5/1, Draw 13/5
To qualify: Belgium 1/3, Wales 12/5
Our prediction
Belgium are massive bookies' favourites – and rightly so. Their 'golden generation' never quite hit the high notes at the 2014 World Cup, nor in qualifying for this tournament, but they've hit eight goals without reply in their last three games. That's what you call coming into form at the right time - the Welsh fairytale almost certainly ends here.
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Germany v Italy

When is the match? Where is it being played?
Germany v Italy kicks off at 8pm on Saturday 2nd July at Stade de Bordeaux.
How did the two teams get there?
Germany topped their group without conceding a goal, and brushed past a Slovakia team who'd successfully frustrated England. That last achievement now looks less impressive in the wake of Monday's results, but the world champions have enjoyed easier progress so far than any team in the tournament.
Italy looked untouchable in Group E until a second-string side lost to Ireland, but they brushed aside that latter result with a magnificent display to knock reigning champions Spain out
What's their head-to-head form?
This is one of the most famous statistics in international football: Germany have never beaten Italy at a major tournament. Quite astonishing. That said, the two sides met in a friendly in March which Germany won 4-1, bringing the Germans overall record in the fixture to W15 L8 D10.
Bookies' view
Germany 5/4, Italy 11/4, Draw 2/1
To qualify: Germany 4/7, Italy 6/4
Our prediction
Quite how one bookmaker is pricing Italy so generously we've no idea, for this match is a coin toss at best – and in our eyes, will very likely end up with a 1-0 or 2-0 victory for the ItaliansAntonio Conte's side look impregnable at the back and devastatingly good at taking their chances when going forwards. Meanwhile Jogi Low's men have consistently looked ramshackle in defence and were recipients of great defensive generosity against Slovakia.
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France v Iceland

When is the match? Where is it being played?
France v Iceland kicks off at 8pm on Sunday 3rd July at Stade de France inParis.
How did the two teams get there?
France rode their luck somewhat to top Group A, relying on late goals to flatter their efforts in the first two matches and then being held to a goalless draw by Switzerland. Then, in the last 16, they were on the ropes against Ireland – untilAntoine Griezmann's star turn saw them take advantage of opponents who'd had three days' less rest. Huge questionmarks remain over how far this side can go.
Iceland, by contrast, have already massively overachieved, relative to their expectations. They played brilliantly pragmatic football to come second in Group F, and their victory over England was a masterclass in the strength of the collective versus the a group of disinterested individuals.
What's their head-to-head form?
France have never lost to Iceland, and won eight of the 11 fixtures between the two sides. But none of those results are relevant now: their 3-2 friendly clash in 2012 is the only meeting between the teams so far this millennium.
Bookies' view
France 2/5, Iceland 9/1, Draw 10/3
To qualify: France 1/7, Iceland 5/1
Our prediction
What matches were the bookmakers watching over the last couple of days? For 45 minutes Ireland showed against France exactly what a well-drilled, confident team can do against XI superstars; and Iceland hammered that message home again over 90 minutes on Monday. Don't get us wrong: we're backing France to get through, probably in extra time. We've a feeling iIt'll be a very, very nervous night for the hosts

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