SBN - Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Euro 2016 Knockout Stage Preview

Euro 2016 Knockout Stage Preview

Euro 2016 Knockout Stage: We preview all of the Last-16 matches
The Last-16 fixtures of the European Championship are complete and we preview all of the matches
The Round of 16 fixtures of the European Championship are complete with the clash between reigning champions Spain and Italy the pick of the bunch. 

Here’s our betting preview on all the last-16 matches!


21/10 Switzerland | Draw 18/10 | Poland 16/10 (15:00)

The opening fixture of the last 16 looks to be a cracking contest between Switzerland and Poland. The Swiss are in the knockout stages of the European Championship for the first time in their history. They finished runners-up in Group A with five points, two behind France. Switzerland were unbeaten in group play, but only managed to win once – against lowly Albania who played with 10 men for most of the game. However, Vladimir Petkovic’s side did well to hold France to a goalless draw and will fancy their chances against Poland. The White Eagles finished runners-up in Group C, level with Germany on seven points but the Germans finished on top due to goal difference. Like Switzerland, Poland are also yet to lose a match in the competition. They beat Northern Ireland and Ukraine by 1-0 scorelines and held the world champions to a goalless draw. Coach Adam Nawalka will be hoping Robert Lewandowski can capture his form of last season that saw him score 30 goals for Bayern Munich. A tight affair is expected, but Poland are tipped to edge the win at 16/10. 

1/1 Wales | 19/10 | Northern Ireland 34/10 (18:00)

High-flying Wales will hope to continue making history when they take on Northern Ireland. Wales topped Group B with six points, a single point above runners-up England. They beat Slovakia, 2-1, and Russia, 3-0, but lost 2-1 to England due to an injury-time goal from Daniel Sturridge. Gareth Bale has been Wales’ standout performer in the tournament and he is joint top scorer, along with Alvaro Morata with three goals in as many games. Northern Ireland lost 1-0 to Germany on Tuesday but finished third in Group C, with their tally of three points enough to see them advance on goal difference. Michael O'Neill’s side also lost 1-0 to Poland, but recorded an impressive 2-0 win over Ukraine. Northern Ireland have looked solid defensively but it will be difficult to nullify the threat of Bale. Wales are tipped to oust their opponents at even money. 

31/20 Croatia | 19/10 | Portugal 21/10 (21:00)

Croatia are the dark horses in this tournament but they’ll be in for a tough evening against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. The Blazers finished on top of Group D following their stunning 2-1 victory over reigning champions Spain. They also recorded a 1-0 win over Turkey, but were held to a 2-2 draw against Czech Republic. With two goals to his name, Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic has been superb for Ante Cacic’s side and he’ll be looking to increase his goal tally and punish Portugal’s shaky defence. Portugal qualified for the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed teams. They come into the clash without a win following three draws against Austria, Iceland and Hungary. Had it not been for Ronaldo’s brilliance against Hungary – where he scored a brace – Portugal wouldn’t be in this competition. Coach Fernando Santos will be pleased Ronaldo has found form at the right time. However, the defence is his biggest concern as they have let in four goals. Croatia are tipped to win at 31/20. 

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9/20 France | 3/1 | Republic of Ireland 8/1 (15:00)

Host nation France are firm favourites to get past the Republic of Ireland in the last 16. Despite coming under criticism, Didier Deschamps’ side topped Group A with seven points. Les Bleus beat Romania, 2-1, and Albania, 2-0, but struggled to unlock Switzerland’s defence which resulted in a goalless draw. France will look to the likes of Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann to fire them into the quarter-finals. The Republic of Ireland booked their place into the last 16 by recording a 1-0 win over Italy, thanks to a dramatic late goal from Robbie Brady. It was a solid performance from Martin O’Neill’s side, however, take into the account that Antonio Conte had made eight changes and were already assured top spot in Group E. The Green Army drew 1-1 with Sweden in their opening game, but were thrashed 3-0 by Belgium in their second. With the quality France have, along with home advantage, they should win comfortably. 

9/20 Germany | 31/10 | Slovakia 77/10 (18:00)

Germany will be hoping to emulate Spain and France by lifting the European Championship trophy while World Cup holders, but they’ll face a tough test against Slovakia. The Germans, who topped Group C, have been workmanlike rather than spectacular in this tournament. Joachim Low's side recorded wins over Ukraine, 2-0, and Northern Ireland, 1-0, but had to settle for a goalless draw against Poland. The world champions will be looking to step up a gear as they look to secure their place in the quarter-finals. Slovakia qualified for the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed teams. They began the tournament with a 2-1 defeat to Wales. An impressive 2-1 win over Russia followed, before a hard-fought goalless draw with England. However, a meeting with the world champions should prove too difficult. Germany are tipped to win the tie convincingly. 

11/2 Hungary | 5/2 | Belgium 6/10 (21:00)

Free-scoring Hungary will take on the no. 1 ranked European nation, Belgium, in what should serve up an entertaining matchup. Hungary began the competition with a 2-0 win over Austria, while draws with Iceland and Portugal, during which they relinquished the lead on three occasions, saw them top Group F on goal difference. Hungary will face a stern test against a star-studded Belgium side, but they’ll fancy their chances. The Red Devils bounced back from their opening 2-0 defeat to Italy with a resounding 3-0 win against the Republic of Ireland. A narrow 1-0 victory over Sweden, thanks to a stunning strike from Radja Nainggolan, secured second place in Group E. This should be a tight affair, but Belgium should have too much class for Hungary. However, Marc Wilmot’s side are not as solid without Vincent Kompany in defence and Hungary should manage to get on the scoresheet. Take Belgium to win + Both Teams To Score at 4/1.


33/10 Italy | 19/10 | Spain 21/20 (18:00)

The encounter between Italy and Spain is undoubtedly the biggest tie in the last 16. Group E was dubbed as the 'group of death' but Antonio Conte's men not only finished on top but won it with a game to spare. The Italians ousted Belgium, 2-0, and Sweden, 1-0, and kept clean sheets in both those games, before making eight changes and losing their third 1-0 to the Republic of Ireland. With most of their players rested, Italy will be fresh and ready for the reigning champions. Spain secured victories over Czech Republic, 1-0, and Turkey, 3-0, but suffered a shocking 2-1 loss to Croatia that saw them finish second in Group D. La Roja will be re-focused for this mouth-watering clash and will need in-form striker Alvaro Morata to unlock Italy’s rock-solid defence. Morata, who has netted three goals, will know all about Italy’s backline having played for Juventus. That being said, these teams are hard to separate and the draw looks likely at 19/10. 

5/10 England | 27/10 | Iceland 13/2 (21:00)

England could only manage a second-place finish behind Wales in Group B. Roy Hodgson’s side played attacking football, dominated the midfield and defended resolutely enough. The Three Lions were unlucky not to win their opener against Russia, with Vasili Berezutski’s last-minute goal cancelling out Eric Dier’s free-kick. In their second match, England overcame Wales 2-1 in a hotly contested affair, but failed to find a way past a stubborn Slovakia backline, settling for a goalless draw. With all due respect to Iceland, this is a favourable tie for England and they’ll be confident of advancing to the quarter-finals. Surprisingly, Iceland are yet to lose a match in Euro 2016. However, they have only managed to win once, 2-1 against Austria on Wednesday. England shouldn’t have any hassles here. Back Hodgson’s side to reign victorious at 5/10. 

Written by Chadley Nagel