With 12 days to go until the France v Romania game kicks off Euro 2016, it is time for my preview of this summers European Championships. From Group A to F every team is covered, with an in-depth look at my predictions for every team’s position in the group.
On paper France should come 3rd behind Switzerland and Romania in this group as they lie behind both in Fifa’s rankings. However, I believe with home support the French will claim top spot in the group winning all 3 of their games. Romania have been good in the last year but I think the Swiss will outclass them and finish as runners-up. Romania may go through as one of the top four 3rd placed teams and Albania will definitely finish last in this group.
As always the pointless hype of ‘this is our year’ has been built up around the England press but in truth I believe England will come through this group unscathed, comfortably top on 9 points. The Welsh have a real chance of getting through in second with their Champions League winner Gareth Bale leading the line. In truth any one of Slovakia, Wales and Russia could go through, either as runners-up or best 3rd place finishers, but my money is on Russia to sneak through as runners-up and Wales to go through in 3rd place.
As long as the German defence can contain Robert Lewandowski in their match v Poland I think the World Cup champs will progress as winners of this group. The Poles will see off competition from the other two teams to finish second while Northern Ireland and Ukraine battle it out for 3rd. I believe N.I will get 3rd but may not get through to the last 16.
Spain look to have an easy group here but I predict Turkey to push on from a superb run of form and cause a huge shock by beating the holders to top spot. Spain will still claim second while Croatia will finish ahead of Czech Republic in 3rd. My Turkey shock predictions doesn’t end there as the winner of that group have an easy run to the semis. Therefore, I believe Turkey will get to the last 4 but then bow out to either Italy, Belgium, Portugal or England.
This is by far the hardest group to predict as so many different national superpowers are in this one group. I think Belgium will beat Italy to first place with the Italians coming second. Unfortunately I don’t believe Rep.Of.Ireland will beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Sweden to 3rd and will therefore be knocked out at the group stages like last time.
Portugal should breeze through this group without a problem as it’s the easiest group in the whole competition. I think Hungary will nick 2nd with Iceland 3rd and Austria 4th.
Out of all the 3rd placed teams, four can go through. I think Wales, Romania, Croatia and Sweden will go through with Northern Ireland and Iceland will miss out. This means my predicted 16 teams in the Quarter Finals are: France, Switzerland, England, Russia, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Wales, Romania, Croatia and Sweden.
This different format allowing 24 teams into the tournament may provide a few shock results and I think the World is in for an exciting month! And no, England will not win Euro 2016 beating Germany in the final thanks to a hat trick from newboy Marcus Rashford. But we can still dream right???