Stage is set: A look into Euro Round of 16
The 16th edition of the European Championship, Euro 2020, began on June 11 with matches in 11 major cities across Europe — for the first time in the 60-year history of the tournament. With the group stage in the books, it's time for the knockout stage, where standings points and goal differential are jettisoned in favor of pure wins and losses. Let's take a look at the journey of the top 16 teams so far:
Wales vs Denmark:
Both sides finished second in their section on goal difference, Wales taking the runners-up spot in Group A on four points behind Italy while Denmark became the first team ever to reach the EURO knockout stages after losing their first two games thanks to a memorable Matchday 3 win against Russia that secured Group B's runners-up spot behind Belgium.
All ten of the teams' previous fixtures have produced a winner, Denmark recording six victories and Wales four.
Italy vs Austria:
Italy have impressed at UEFA EURO 2020 with maximum points in the group stage and now travel to London to take on Austria, who have reached the knockout phase of the competition for the first time.
While Italy recorded three victories and three clean sheets to claim first place in Group A, a Matchday 3 defeat of Ukraine gave Austria second place in Group C behind the Netherlands, the first time in their three EURO finals appearance they have progressed beyond the initial group stage.
Austria have won 12 of their 36 previous games against Italy, although they have not beaten them since a 2-1 friendly win in Naples in December 1960; their subsequent record against the Azzurri is D3 L10.
Netherlands vs Czech Republic:
The Netherlands and the Czech Republic produced one of the tournament's most memorable group stage games at UEFA EURO 2004 and now meet in the knockout stage for the first time at Budapest's Puskás Aréna in the third round of 16 tie at UEFA EURO 2020.
The Netherlands eased through Group C, winning all three games at Amsterdam's Johan Cruijff ArenA and scoring eight goals in the process, making them the overall top scorers in the group stage. The Czechs, in contrast, qualified as one of the four best third-placed sides, finishing behind England and Croatia in Group D with four points.
The Czech Republic have won five of their 11 matches against the Netherlands (D3 L3), including the last two, at home (2-1) – Stefan de Vrij scoring the visitors' goal – and away (3-2) in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying.
Belgium vs Portugal:
The world's top-ranked side looked worthy of that title during a perfect group stage run, with Romelu Lukaku in fine fettle with three goals.The Portuguese have looked equally potent in attack, with Cristiano Ronaldo boasting five goals and an assist after three games, but worrisome at the back.
Portugal have won 6 of their 18 matches against Belgium and lost 5 as the rest of the matches finished as draws.
Croatia vs Spain:
Croatia and Spain have served up plenty of dramatic encounters over the years and now face off for the first time in a tournament knockout encounter as they meet at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen in the round of 16 at UEFA EURO 2020.
Both sides progressed to the knockout stage with impressive Matchday 3 successes, Croatia claiming second place in Group D with a 3-1 defeat of Scotland in Glasgow while Spain equaled the record margin of victory in a EURO finals with a 5-0 win against Slovakia in Seville.
Croatia's record in eight matches against Spain is W3 D1 L4.
France vs Switzerland:
After overcoming Portugal and Germany in Group F, always dubbed the 'Group of Death', France were rewarded with a place in the round of 16 against Switzerland.
The Swiss are lesser ranked than France's group opponents, but are 13th in the world, and shouldn't be under-estimated. Switzerland finished as one of the best third-placed teams after a mixed bag of results in Group A.
France and Switzerland have met 39 times, with France winning 16 of those, losing 12 times and 11 matches finishing in a stalemate.
England vs Germany:
England and Germany meet in a huge Euro 2020 round-of-16 clash at Wembley on Tuesday night, with a favourable route to the final awaiting the victors.
The Three Lions won Group D to set up a last-16 tie against the runners-up of Group F - the so-called 'group of death' featuring France, Portugal, Germany and Hungary.In a frantic finale to Group F, Germany who were minutes from crashing out - salvaged a 2-2 draw against Hungary to book themselves a knockout spot.
That result means England and Germany will face off at Wembley in a repeat of the Euro '96 semi-final, which the Germans won via a penalty shootout before going on to win the competition.
Sweden vs Ukraine:
Sweden and Ukraine square off at Hampden Park in Glasgow in the last game of the EURO 2020 Round of 16 stages. Blagult won Group E, staying ahead of Spain and making a solid surprise. Meanwhile, Ukraine was third in their Group C, winning one and losing two games, but showing quite the potential. Even though their results weren't that impressive, the performances were at a very high level, which is why Ukrainians enter this clash with tremendous confidence.
The nations have faced each other 4 times in the past as Ukraine picked up a couple of victories and Sweden won 1. And the other match was drawn.
ROUND OF 16 TIES
June 26: Wales vs Denmark (10pm, Amsterdam)
June 27: Italy vs Austria (1am, London)
June 27: Netherlands vs Czech Republic (10pm, Budapest)
June 28: Belgium vs Portugal (1am, Seville)
June 28: Croatia vs Spain (10 pm, Copenhagen)
June 29: France vs Switzerland (1am, Bucharest)
June 29: England vs Germany (10pm, London)
June 30: Sweden vs Ukraine (1am, Glasgow)