Euro 2016 Round of 16 Preview

Here is a quick preview of each of the Round of 16 games.

Switzerland vs. Poland

June 25th at 9:00 am EST on ESPN

Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Etienne

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (England)

Both of these teams are now looking to take their ambitions higher now that they are in the knockout stages. Poland’s Robert Lewandowski is yet to score but he could be the difference this time around. If Switzerland hopes to make a deep run then they will need to find some offense as they only scored 2 goals in the group stage.

Predictions

My Pick – Poland

Conor’s Pick – Poland

Wales vs. Northern Ireland

June 25th at 12:00 pm EST on ESPN

Parc des Princes, Paris

Referee: Martin Atkinson (England)

A battle of Great Britain as Wales and Northern Ireland meet in the Round of 16. The only real question I have is how far can Gareth Bale lead Wales. They will now be the favorites to advance so we shall see how this impacts the Welsh side and if they are able to perform up to expectation.

Predictions

My Pick – Wales

Conor’s Pick – Wales

Croatia vs. Portugal

June 25th at 3:00 pm EST on ESPN

Stade Bollaert-Deleis, Lens

Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)

This is one of the better Round of 16 match ups and now features two teams that if they are able to win should be favorites to make it to the final. Ronaldo seems to be scoring again which is key. For Croaita, the key is Luka Modric’s health. He is a game changer and if healthy could make them the team to beat.

Predictions

My Pick – Croatia

Conor’s Pick – Portugal

France vs. Republic of Ireland

June 26th at  9:00 am EST on ESPN

Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)

The talk across the pond is how this could be the revenge game for the Thierry Henry hand ball during a 2010 World Cup qualification playoff game. Can the Irsih who had struggled in the tournament until they found the winner against Italy really push the host? How good is Dimitri Payet? We are about to find out a lot about the French and if they have what it takes to win this tournament as Their road to the final is not going to be easy.

Predictions

My Pick – France

Conor’s Pick – Ireland

Germany vs. Slovakia

June 26th at 12:00 pm EST on ESPN

Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Vileneuve-d’Ascq

Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)

The World Champions will look to advance to the quarterfinals easily over Slovakia. They seemed to have found the answer up front in Mario Gomez and will look to win the World Cup and European Championship in back to back tournaments.

Predictions

My Pick – Germany

Conor’s Pick – Germany

Hungary vs. Belgium

June 26th at 3:00 pm EST on ESPN

Stadium Municipal, Toulouse

Referee: Milorad Mazic (Serbia)

This game really intrigues me as I think both of these teams have the potential to make it all the way to the final. Hungary has been the surprise team of the tournament in a good way and you could argue that Belgium has been the surprise team in a bad way. The question here is are Hungary really a talented team or will Belgium’s superstars be enough?

Predictions

My Pick – Hungary

Conor’s Pick – Hungary

Italy vs. Spain

June 27th at 12:00 pm EST on ESPN

Stade de France, Saint-Denis

Referee:

Wow, wow, wow! This is a must watch game. A repeat of the last European Championships final. Italy won their group and got the worst prize in the world, the defending European Champions. Spain meanwhile finally conceded and was defeated for the first time in what seems like forever at the Euros. Both teams suffered defeat on the final matchday, who will rebound better?

Predictions

My Pick – Spain

Conor’s Pick – Spain

England vs. Iceland

June 27th at 3:00 pm EST on ESPN

Allianz Riviera, Nice

Referee:

If you are not English, I kind of think that you must be cheering for Iceland now. This small nation has excited everyone and they can dream. They are the smallest nation to ever make the knockout stages of the Euros. England will need to figure out what their best 11 are and fast as they still are struggling to find their balance.

Predictions

My Pick – England

Conor’s Pick – England

The score after the group stage is Conor 15, Me 14. The points now double. I will be back after the round of 16 to recap and preview the quarterfinals.

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