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  • Ash, @FPLHints

Chief @FPLHINTS’ Picks – Euro 2020 Contest #7 - Last 16 Part 2

Updated: Jun 28

Knockout football has the propensity to ignore how well a team did in the group stages. Whether they passed with flying colours or just about scraped through it is completely irrelevant. There are no more second chances available. What matters from this point on is the ability to seize the moment. Without a doubt this was the case in the first round of 16 match where Denmark looked unstoppable against Wales after scoring their first goal. It will be interesting to see how many other teams that won less than two group matches fare in the remaining round of 16 games. Here are my confirmed selections for Perfect Picks’ Euro 2020 Contest #7 (for Monday and Tuesday’s games).


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Perfect Picks Euro 2020 Contest #7: Last 16 Monday and Tuesday


Croatia v Spain


It took them a while but La Roja finally made a statement of intent with a resounding win against Slovakia in their last game. Despite having a superior goal difference in Group E it they finished 2nd due to their failure to win the first two games. Likewise, Croatia also had a slow start before they finally got going with a convincing win against Scotland. But questions still remain on some of their ageing stars and their capability to sustain their rhythm. To add to this, the confirmed absence of Perišić for this round of 16 game due to Covid-19 will be a setback for the team. Spain will no doubt take advantage and are more than capable of finishing this tie off within 90 minutes. Prediction: Spain to win by 2

France v Switzerland


They may have had a negative goal difference and finished third in their group yet it was sufficient for Switzerland’s progress to the knockout stages. On the other hand, France came out on top (and unbeaten) in the so-called ‘Group of Death’. But for this to even happen, France had to find a desperate second half equaliser against Hungary and they failed to close off their game against Portugal after leading 2-1. Does it matter? Not in the wider scheme of things but it certainly shows that this France team does have some vulnerabilities which they will no doubt look to iron out going forwards. And let us not forget they are World Cup champions after all. As for Switzerland, they are the underdogs and will need to rely on their marquee names once again if they are to cause any sort of unlikely upset. Prediction: France to win by 2

England v Germany


25 years on, Wembley is due to host another storied footballing rivalry. All of the previous players from that championship have long retired but as destiny would have it, Southgate, who missed the crucial penalty back in 1996 is now the manager. You simply couldn’t make it up. Can England dream? Germany look far from convincing and needed a late goal just to draw with Hungary who were surprisingly close from reaching the round of 16 in defiance of all the odds stacked against them. With that said, England have failed to score more than one goal in any of their group games. For all of their youthful talent we haven’t seen a convincing victory as of yet from the Three Lions in this tournament. Whoever progresses from this tie could have the potential of a reasonable route to the final so this game really does it matter on so many levels. Biases aside, this is going to be a close match which may extend beyond 90 minutes and past 120 minutes. Prediction: Draw (penalties) Sweden v Ukraine


At the start of the tournament some pundits questioned Sweden’s ability when their seasoned talisman, Ibrahimović, was ruled out not long after making a return to the international stage. However, two wins from three shows that they mean business. They’ve certainly taken their chances as demonstrated in their last game against Poland with 3 goals from 4 shots on target despite having less than 40% of possession. As for Ukraine, they may have lost two group games but that doesn’t tell the bigger picture of narrowly missing out on a positive result against the Netherlands or losing by one against Austria. Having said that they had to rely on beating debutants North Macedonia to secure their pathway to the round of 16. Sure, they will put up a fight against Sweden but most likely they could be overwhelmed in this tie. Prediction: Sweden to win by 2


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