Euro 2016 Week 3 Update
Week three of the UEFA Euro 2016 brought some big changes to the lists of remaining teams, and has ensured round 16 will feature some very exciting, nail biting games.
In the coming weekend the top 16 will be playing knockout games to vie for a position in the top 8. With home team France and perennially popular Germany still looking like favourites for the final, eyes are on the France vs. Ireland game, and the Germany vs. Slovakia game to be held on Sunday.
This week saw the end of the tournament for 8 teams, with Ukraine, Turkey, Austria, Romania, Albania, Sweden, Russia and the Czech Republic getting knocked out. All teams will be returning home, though for some, such as Albania, this was the first major tournament they had taken part in to date. For them to have reached the third week is an achievement they will no doubt be focusing on in the future, and they hope to do even better when they return in 4 years time.
While Germany and France may be bettor’s favourites, the coming weekend promises some exciting play between a few other strong contenders. Wales versus Northern Ireland looks set to be an interesting match, with Wales having the upper hand historically. These two teams have only met once in a previous round of the Euros many years ago in 1968. Wales will especially be under scrutiny as Gareth Bale looks like a contender for the Golden Boot.
The upcoming game between Portugal and Croatia will be well attended as well, largely because of the fame and talent of Portugal forward, Cristiano Ronaldo. With him in the forefront, Portugal has won all three previous matches against Croatia and the game looks to be tense, with Croatia looking to redeem themselves and move into the quarter finals.
England matches are always on the most watched list and the game against Iceland on Monday will be no different. These two teams have only met twice before, the first time way back in 1982. More recently they played a friendly in the warm up to the Euro 2004 when England won in a strong 6-1 outing. Neither England nor Iceland has lost in a game in the Euro 2016, with Iceland winning their last game against Austria 2-1. The match promises to be a battle worth watching.
Never have two teams been so evenly matched as Spain and Italy. The teams have met 34 times with each winning 10 games, and the remainder of the games ending in a tie. This will be the third time in consecutive years that they will be meeting in a Euro match. However, Spain holds a stronger history overall having won the two previous Euro Championships.
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