There are four Round of 16 ties left in the 2020 Euros and matchday 16 sees a couple of the favorites in action. France looked ready to step out of second gear without really doing so in the group stage, while Spain finally broke out of their goal-scoring malaise in their final group tie with a dominant win over Slovakia. They take on Croatia and Switzerland respectively here.
Here is a look at the two games on Matchday 16:
Croatia vs. Spain – Parken Stadium, Copenhagen (Denmark)
This is a battle between a cople of sides that did very little in their first two group games – they combined to play four games and take three points – before putting out their best efforts in the final round of pool play. Spain will be looking to carry over their momentum from a 5-0 win against Slovakia, while Croatia were impressive in beating Scotland 3-1 to book their place in the last 16.
The Croats have never won a Euro knockout game – and the 2018 World Cup finalists may be a little past their prime – but this is still a dangerous squad. Luka Modric will agian by their key player, with the little magician trying to inspire one last run for his side. The Spanish will probably keep the same lineup that was so dominant against rhe Slovaks, meaning that the likes of Thiago and Ferran Torres will start on the bench.
The Croatian midfield is enough to cause the Spanish problems but it is hard to see who is going to put the ball in the net for them against the quality of the Spain defenders. Spain were shot shy before the Slovakia game and I think they will revert to type here in taking a narrow win. Take under 2.5 gaosl at 0.75 with BetXChange.
France vs. Switzerland – Arena Nationala, Bucharest (Romania)
It will be interesting to see how France cope with the fact that both of their left backs went off injury against Portugal with Lucas Hernandez and Lucas Digne potentially sidelined. The theroy is that they might move to a 3-5-2, potentially using Banjamin Pavard and Adrien Rabiot as wing bakcs rather than the traditional fullbacks that head coach Didier Deschamps has used in the past.
Switzerland were outstanding against a poor Turkey side in their last game and their key will to be continue to get the most out of star man Xherdan Shaqiri. Shaqiri bagged a couple of goals on his seven shots against the Turks, showing a willingness to move into/create space and being the constant force that he is when th Swiss are at their best. Arsenal midfield man Granit Xhaka also impressed with his defensve workrate, something that must continue against the dangerous French if the Swiss are to have a chance here.
Switzerland were overrun by Italy in the group stage and it is hard to seem them dealing any better with the French if they are able to take it up a notch and find the extra gear they have been sitting under. Paul Pogba always seems to play his best football internationally and he will inspire a France win by two or three goals.