Following a large number of calculations from the world’s finest minds (and Rio Ferdinand) the 8 games have been announced for the 2nd Round of the Euros.
Whilst it was easy enough to work out which teams were going through in 1st and 2nd place in each group the 3rd place complication had many confused. With 4 of 6 teams that finished third qualifying, and only certain third placed teams being able to play other teams, it has been strange. It’s also disappointing in a way that a team can get 3 points and go through, as Portugal and Northern Ireland have. Not exactly the best of the best is it?
Either way you can see loads of great games in the next few days. You can also see all our Euro 2016 latest betting offers as normal.
What Big Games Will There Be In The Next Round?
Well the biggest game will no doubt be Italy v Spain. How the Italians must have been pleased when they won their group and looked forward to Czech Republic or Croatia in the next round. Unfortunately for them the impressive Croats beat Spain and have set up a fantastic tie for us on Monday 27th June. I fear that it might actually be quite an edgy occasion with a LOT of passing, but the occasion will be fantastic.
Elsewhere, Croatia play Portugal, who scraped through. This could be a much more attacking occasion with the enticing showdown between Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mates in Rakitic and Modric. I can foresee lots of pictures of Ronaldo in pain, throwing his arms in the air and generally being upset. Can’t wait. The rest of the games should – I say ‘should’ – have clear favourites being seen so as to set up big quarter final occasions. Although as we’ve seen so far that doesn’t always mean that the obvious thing will happen!
What About The Brits?
In terms of British interest, we have the superb situation where all of our teams have got through. England have been rewarded with a game against Iceland on Monday night which they should have no issues in winning. The only problem could be that they’ll need to break down a sturdy Icelandic defence and we saw how they struggled against Slovakia.
Wales in the meantime take on Northern Ireland, who celebrated a defeat to Germany like they had won the group. I found that a little odd, but I guess they are very much underdogs in a sea of superstar teams. This fantastic Battle of Britain though will take place on Saturday at 5pm, which for me is the perfect dinner-time treat. They’ll both be confident of going through and it could be a cracker.
The Republic of Ireland also got through thanks to a late winner against the Italy Reserves. To say the Italian Catholics did them a favour is an understatement, but the Irish did play well. They take on France with the sounds of ‘revenge’ going through their minds. The 2007 play-off that knocked the Irish out of the Euros is still very much heavy on the minds of their fans as Thierry Henry hand-balled them out of the competition. The French will be confident of getting the win. The Irish should not be underestimated as on their day they can upset anyone.
The draw has split into two and one of those sides is extremely top heavy with the ‘bigger’ teams. Germany, Spain, Italy, France and England are all there, whilst the Croatians and Belgians are in the other side of the draw. Time to put your money on one of those two sides? They certainly both have a great chance of playing off against each other to see who gets to the final!
Second Round Fixtures
The following games are scheduled to be played this weekend:
Saturday 25th June
2pm: Switzerland v Poland
5pm: Wales v Northern Ireland
8pm: Croatia v Portugal
Sunday 26th June
2pm: France v Republic of Ireland
5pm: Germany v Slovakia
8pm: Hungary v Belgium
Monday 27th June
5pm: Italy v Spain
8pm: England v Iceland