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  • Ash, @FPLHints

Chief @FPLHINTS’ Picks – Euro 2020 Contest #8 - Quarter Finals

With 29 goals in 8 games, it’s safe to say that the round of 16 was certainly not littered with dreaded snooze fests. Only one match went to penalties and for the most part it seemed as if teams were going all out for a win as seen with action packed drama in Bucharest and Copenhagen. We also discovered that the so-called ‘Group of Death’ was literally just that as the three heavyweights from Group F all went out in spectacular fashion. We’re now left with a lop-sided draw with the top half stacked with Belgium, Italy and Spain whereas the bottom half sees England earmarked as favourites following their pragmatic win against Germany. Can they go all the way? Here are my confirmed selections for Perfect Picks’ Euro 2020 Contest #8 (all of the quarter-finals’ games).


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Perfect Picks Euro 2020 Contest #8: Quarter Finals

Switzerland v Spain


Had it not been for an inspired fight back from the Rossocrociati, we would have seen World Cup champions France feature in this round. Instead, Switzerland defied the odds and made history to book their place in the quarter-finals. Dare we say it, are they now the dark horses? They certainly started slowly in the tournament and we can’t ignore the fact that Switzerland have scored 6 goals in their last 2 games. Certainly, their next opponents shouldn’t take them for granted. Spain certainly would have learned lessons after scuppering a 3-1 lead against Croatia in the final minutes of normal time. Caution will be required on their part this time around or else they could fall short. However, Spain should have enough pedigree in their squad to see this tie through even if they ended up conceding more than one goal. Prediction: Spain to win by 1

Belgium v Italy


With eight combined wins and no losses to date in this tournament, it wouldn’t be surprising if either one of these teams ended up reaching the final on 11th July. Of course, Italy needed extra time to find a winner against a spirited Austria. As for Belgium they did what was needed against Portugal. However, with key players affected by fitness woes it remains to be seen how they will fare collectively as a team in Munich. The Red Devils golden generation have yet to win a major tournament and it could be argued that this may be the last real chance for their current crop of players to win international honours. Italy will pose them a serious challenge. No doubt it will be a close encounter but I feel that Belgium’s journey may have run its course if they are unable to field their strongest starting line-up. Prediction: Italy to win by 1

Czech Republic v Denmark


Both of these teams have shown real determination and grit to get this far in Euro 2020. For the Czech Republic, Patrik Schick has well and truly come to the fore with his four goals that have put him only one goal behind Ronaldo in the golden boot race. As for Denmark, they’ve turned over their first two defeats with two defiant wins. They clearly have momentum at hand. Having said that, the Czech Republic have done spectacularly to navigate their way out of a tricky group and have then gone on to defeat a promising Netherlands team in the round of 16. At a neutral venue, this tie could go either way. But you sense that Denmark have a different level of inspiration following the events of their first game which deeply affected their entire team. In my estimation, the Euro 1992 champions are capable of winning this game and booking their place in the semi-finals. Prediction: Denmark to win by 1 Ukraine v England On Tuesday, the Three Lions put 55 years of hurt behind them by defeating Germany in a knock out game. The last time that happened, England went on to lift their first and only senior-level FIFA trophy. Many pundits and fans have questioned Southgate’s tactics during this tournament and yet England remain the only team yet to concede a goal at Euro 2020. So, is it coming home? It certainly won’t be if they fail in Rome. Of course, Ukraine needed extra time to beat 10-man Sweden and they only won just one group game. But they are anything but pushovers and England must not be complacent, especially when considering that Ukraine have many experienced players in their ranks in comparison to England’s youthful squad. The World Cup 2018 semi-finalists will know what needs doing and are more than capable of winning even if it’s their first (and only) match outside of London at Euro 2020. Prediction: England to win by 1


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