Euro 2024 Last-16 Match Predictions: Will England Progress Through Penalties?

Euro 2024 Last-16 Match Predictions: Will England Progress Through Penalties?
Elara Whitmore / Jun, 30 2024 / Sports

As the Euro 2024 tournament progresses into the highly-anticipated last-16 matches, football enthusiasts around the world are eager to see how the action will unfold. Predictions are bubbling up, particularly around four key matches where the outcomes are poised to be closely contested. The stage is set with national pride at its peak and some of the best talents in football ready to showcase their skills. Enthusiasts and analysts alike can only speculate as we break down the potential happenings in these critical games.

Spain vs Georgia: Will the Underdogs Bite?

The clash between Spain and Georgia is generating considerable buzz. Spain, a formidable force in European football, is clearly the favorite, boasting odds of 1/7. What makes this fixture exciting, however, is the potential for Georgia to disrupt expectations. With attacking talents like Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Georges Mikautadze, Georgia presents a real threat in terms of scoring ability. Analysts have pegged both teams to score at 6/4, which could be a rewarding bet for those willing to back the underdog. The Spanish defense is known for its organization and discipline, but every shield has its weak point, and Georgia's forwards will be looking to exploit any lapse in concentration.

Spain's squad depth is enviable and their passing game, marked by tiki-taka style, can frustrate opponents into making errors. Georgia, on the other hand, thrives on counterattacks and quick transitions. The outcome could heavily hinge on how well Georgia can withstand Spain's possession-heavy approach while making the most of their chances when they come. Expect a high-energy match with plenty of takeaways both on and off the ball.

Belgium vs France: The Battle of Giants

In perhaps the most eagerly awaited match of the round, Belgium faces off against France. It's not just about national pride but also about two footballing philosophies clashing on the pitch. Belgium’s weak defense, especially with players like Wout Faes and Jan Vertonghen, might be the Achilles heel that fast-paced French forwards like Kylian Mbappe aim to exploit. Much of the fate of this match hangs on Mbappe's shoulders and his ability to penetrate Belgium’s backline.

Belgium’s key to success lies in the form of Kevin De Bruyne. His vision, passing, and ability to deliver crucial shots on target make him indispensable. Predictions suggest good value in De Bruyne getting a shot on target with odds of 10/11. However, France’s finishing has been inconsistent, and this will need to improve if they plan to advance. Expect a tactical masterclass from both managers, each trying to outthink the other and gain an upper hand. This match promises end-to-end action, stunning individual performances, and perhaps a nail-biting finish.

Portugal vs Slovenia: A Stage for Bruno Fernandes?

Portugal vs Slovenia: A Stage for Bruno Fernandes?

For Portugal, the spotlight has often been on Cristiano Ronaldo, but his recent form in major tournaments has drawn some criticism. With only one non-penalty goal in his last 11 major matches, he's not quite living up to his legendary status in recent competitions. Enter Bruno Fernandes. His command in the midfield and ability to orchestrate play makes him a key player for Portugal in this knockout stage. The expectations are high, with odds of 11/4 on Fernandes scoring in a Portugal win, leading some to believe he might just steal the spotlight from Ronaldo.

Slovenia, while not the favorites, are no pushovers. Their cohesive team play and tenacity make them a challenging opponent. They will look to disrupt Portugal's rhythm and force errors. Portugal’s defensive setup needs to be watertight to avoid any slip-ups. The match is likely to be decided in the midfield battle, with Fernandes’ playmaking versus Slovenia’s collective effort possibly determining the outcome. Expect a tactically rich display where physicality meets finesse.

England's Dilemma: Penalties Again?

England enters the last-16 with a palpable sense of déjà vu. Known for their historic struggles with penalties in major tournaments, the big question is whether they can avoid being taken to a shootout. While the details of their matchups weren’t specified, the common thread is England's potential reliance on penalties to scrape through.

The Three Lions have a robust squad equipped with youthful energy and seasoned veterans. Their gameplay often revolves around swift attacks down the wings and solid defensive work. But as history has shown, when it comes to penalties, England has often faced heartbreak. Fans and pundits alike hope that their stars can settle matters within regular time. Managerial strategies, player form, and perhaps a bit of luck will all be crucial. Penalties or not, England’s performance in the knockout stages will be watched with bated breath.

Excitement and Uncertainty: The Essence of Euro 2024

Excitement and Uncertainty: The Essence of Euro 2024

With each of these fixtures, Euro 2024 throws open a myriad of possibilities. The thrill of an underdog victory, the excitement of star players making their mark, and the tactical battles between managers create a tapestry of intrigue and drama. It's what makes football such a beloved sport globally; the unpredictability and the human stories woven into every match.

As fans, we can only sit back and enjoy the ride, watching our favorite teams and players strive for glory. Whether it's through a stunning volley, a brilliant save, or even the dreaded penalty shootout, Euro 2024 promises to be an unforgettable journey. The world will be watching, and whatever the outcomes, it’s certain that these last-16 matches will provide moments to remember.