Euro 2020 has already provided its fair share of thrills, spills and drama.
Final eight of Euro 2020
You only have to look at the absolute carnage that was Monday night where Spain defeated Croatia 5-3 and world champions France crashed out on penalties after a 3-3 thriller to get the picture.
As such, you get the feeling that the European Championships might still have a few surprises up its sleeve as we enter the final seven games with just eight nations still competing for glory.
And that means that daring to predict the remaining matches would be nothing short of a fool’s game because what could be more unpredictable than the beautiful game?
Raphael Varane to Man United Imminent (Football Terrace)
Predicting Euro 2020
Well, I guess that makes it a good job that your resident fool – none other than oneself – is here to chance their arm regardless by brazenly picturing how the rest of the tournament will pan out.
Give or take a few inspired Premier League predictions last season, I’m by no means the second coming of Mystic Meg, but I still have a decent idea of how I think the next few games will transpire.
So, let’s skirt over the fact that I thought France would defeat Spain in the final before a ball was kicked and woefully attempt to have a second bash at things now that it’s every so slightly easier.
Spain 1-2 Switzerland
Belgium 2-2 Italy (AET) – Belgium win 4-1 on penalties
Czech Republic 0-2 Denmark
Ukraine 1-3 England
Yup, this is football we’re talking about and I’ll be damned if there’s not at least one other shock before the tournament is out, so I’m predicting Switzerland to make a mad run to the semi-finals.
It’s hard to imagine a world in which the free-scoring Spain don’t find the net, but there are defensive weaknesses ready to exploited and the Swiss will find attacking easier than they did against France.
Call my Belgium vs Italy prediction a cop out, but there’s surely going to be another penalty shootout to come and these two are almost inseparable right now. Belgium, for me, are slightly stronger though.
As for the other two predictions, it’s hardly controversial to favour Denmark and England, though I do think the Three Lions will wobble a little bit by way of losing their phenomenal clean sheet record.
Belgium 2-0 Switzerland
England 2-1 Denmark (AET)
All good things come to an end and I can’t sit here with a straight face and say that Switzerland are going to reach the Euro 2020 final by way of overthrowing France, Spain and Belgium back-to-back.
As such, I can picture a world in which Romelu Lukaku unloads his goalscoring brilliance upon the Swiss and finally elevates his nation to the major final that the ‘Golden Generation’ badly deserves.
Meanwhile, England vs Denmark is an incredibly tough game to call and I don’t think for one second that the Three Lions will simply sweep past their opponents, hence leaning towards extra time.
Equally, though, I’ve got be honest here and admit that if England play like they did against the Germans then a place in the final is theirs. Something tells me that Phil Foden could bag the winner.
Belgium 3-1 England
I sort of imagine a Belgium vs England clash playing out like the 2018 Champions League final, minus the horrendous goalkeeping errors.
I’d expect the game to be pretty even with England giving a good account of themselves, perhaps even equalising after falling behind, but for the superior talent of the Belgians to ultimately shine through.
Call me a classic English pessimistic, but it’s just so easy to picture heartbreak under the Wembley arch at the very last hurdle, particularly in a world where Kevin De Bruyne can return to full fitness.
It’s not coming home…?
So, there you have it, by my estimations it won’t be coming home this summer, though I like to think that’s more to do with me not wanting to jinx things than from a pure footballing context.
Nevertherless, I’ve been an England fan long enough to know that having an easier run to the final doesn’t guarantee anything and they’ll be a European giant waiting for us if we do make it there.
All that being said, trust me when I say that I’d love nothing more than to be proven wrong.