The teams that will participate in the knockout stages of Euro 2020 have been decided. The third-placed sides from various groups that made it to this stage will face the winners of some of the groups in the competition.
This means that the third-place sides won’t have it easy based on the competition’s statistics which favors their rivals but we may be up for some upsets as the knockout stages of Euro 2020 begin.
All the sides who won their groups are favorites going into the games, maybe except for a certain Portugal vs Belgium fixture, and a certain Sweden vs Czech Republic fixture where the supposedly lower sides cannot be written off.
- PORTUGAL VS BELGIUM
One of the biggest games of the round is the game between Portugal and Belgium. The Belgians won their group with a 100% record while a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal finished third in the competition’s group of death. This is one cracking fixture where many betting options can materialize. You may check Betway’s football betting page for options like both teams to score and the exciting odds attached as both sides have been firing from all cylinders in this competition.
However, with regards to form, it must be noted that Portugal and the two sides above them in the group stages, France, and Germany were very close on points garnered with 5, 4, and 4 respectively.
Although, it should be noted that Portugal didn’t have an amazing start to their winning Euro 2016 campaign as they drew their 3 group games. Can Portugal come to life in the knockout stages as they did 5 years ago? Watch the video below to see William Carvalho look back on Portugal’s 2016 triumph.
Therefore, Roberto Martinez and his men would know better than to think that they are facing a lesser team because of the deception of their group stage third-place finish.
The last 5 competitive games between the two sides have ended 2 wins apiece and 1 draw. The fact that Portugal boasts the current top scorer in the competition in the person of Cristiano Ronaldo with 5 goals is one thing that the Belgians should be wary of.
Regardless, the Belgians also have their prolific forward in Romelu Lukaku with 3 goals in the competition, and some creative monsters in Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne. This game is evenly poised in my opinion and can go any way.
The other games will see France face Switzerland, the Netherlands face the Czech Republic, while Sweden will face Ukraine.
- FRANCE VS SWITZERLAND
France are favorites against Switzerland on paper, but their case with Hungary in the group stages shows that they will be writing off their opponents at their peril. The competitive games between the French and the Swiss have been 6, with France winning 2 and the rest ending in draws.
The last game between the two sides in the Euros ended in a barren draw and we might be in for a very tight game. Regardless, France remain the overwhelming favorites to progress to the next stage of the competition.
- THE NETHERLANDS VS THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The Netherlands progressed with a 100% record and are favorites against the Czech Republic who finished third in their group.
Surprisingly, the Czechs have a decent record against their Dutch opponents and have won 3 of the last 5 competitive games between the two sides. The Dutch have 2 wins but have lost the last two consecutive competitive games between the two sides.
The Czech Republic have scored 3 goals in the competition in comparison to the Dutch side’s 8 goals. However, Frank de Boer’s men cannot afford to be complacent going into the game, not against a team that have beaten them in their last two competitive meetings. We’re looking forward to this one.
- SWEDEN VS UKRAINE
Sweden surprisingly came out tops in a group that had Slovakia, Spain, and Poland.
They’ll face a Ukraine side that finished third behind the Netherlands and Austria as they could only get a victory against the arguably the whipping boys of the tournament on paper North Macedonia.
However, this is a tough one to call and the bookmakers know this. Both sides have faced one in a competitive game and Ukraine came out tops. We look forward to seeing how this fixture pans out.
The group winners will always be favorites against the sides that progressed by finishing third but there is a high likelihood of upsets in these games and we wait to see if all the group winners progress unscathed or if there will be some casualties.
Kenneth is a an avid soccer follower, fan and writer. He is a consistent follower of the sport and is a fan of Chelsea FC.