The group stage is over and some teams, including Sweden, have been eliminated from the European Football Championship. The tournament goes on however, and the play offs are starting this weekend. In this post are dates and schedule/fixtures for the Round of 16. The two branches of the play off tree is interesting to watch, with teams like Spain, Germany and Italy on the right. The left branch is considered a more easier journey to the final (left branch = four first matches below). However, if the group stage has taught us anything, it is that any team can beat anyone on a good day.
Schedule, Round of 16 of the European Football Championship 2016
June 25: Switzerland – Poland
Comment: Poland did not allow a single goal against in the group stage. The question is how Switzerland can penetrate the Polish defenses? Maybe this match will be decided on penalties?
June 25: Wales – Northern Ireland
Comment: British derby where Wales feels like the strongest candidate to reach the quarter-finals. They did an excellent group stage except for the last few minutes against the big brother of England.
June 25: Croatia – Portugal
Comment: Portugal barely made it to the playoffs. Croatia managed to beat the current European Champions Spain in the last match of the group. That makes the Croatians the favorite in this match-up.
June 26: France – Ireland
Comment: The host nation meets Ireland, who managed to beat Italy in the last match. Ireland’s game with high pressure can create trouble for the French. A sensational victory for the Greens?
June 26: Germany – Slovakia
Comment: Reigning world champions Germany should be able to outmaneuver Slovakia.
June 26: Hungary – Belgium
Comment: Belgium has not really came up to normal standard yet. Hungary scored three goals in Portugal in the last group match. Hard to predict a winner here, although Belgium is the better team on the paper.
June 27: Italy – Spain
Comment: A heavyweight match up early in the play offs. Neither team is particularly happy about getting such a tough opponents this early. Can Spain wear out the Italian defenses with their short passing and high ball possession?
June 27: England – Iceland
Comment: Lars Lagerbäck has never lost against England as a coach. Iceland has showed an incredible ability to survive the qualifiers and the group stage. Now they have everything to win against an England that has everything to lose. Will the Lions fall by penalties once again?