Euro 2016

Euro 2016: Predictions

Euro 2016: Predictions

Courtesy of Mark Lawrenson 
BBC Football Expert

The second round of group games includes England v Wales, Ukraine v Northern Ireland and Belgium v the Republic of Ireland.

Before the group stage started, Lawro picked his two teams to go through automatically from each group into the knockout stage, and the six teams he thinks will finish bottom and definitely go home (four of the six third-placed teams also go through to the last 16).

England v Wales

England v Wales (Lens, 14:00 BST)

England will have felt like they lost their first game after conceding such a late equaliser to Russia. I see them winning this time, though.

Wales had to put in a massive effort to beat Slovakia but Chris Coleman’s substitutions for Wales were much better than Roy Hodgson’s for England, and that helped them get over the line.

In Lens, however, I see England dominating possession and creating a lot of chances.

They just have to be aware that Gareth Bale can break away for Wales and he has got fantastic pace, but he cannot hurt England when he does not have the ball.

Lawro’s pre-tournament picks – Going through: England and Russia Third place: Wales Going home: Slovakia

GROUP C

Games Score Lawro’s prediction
Thursday, 16 June
Ukraine v Northern Ireland x-x 2-0
Thursday, 16 June
Germany v Poland x-x 2-1
Ukraine v Northern Ireland

Ukraine v Northern Ireland (Lyon, 17:00 BST)

Northern Ireland put in a gallant effort in their 1-0 defeat by Poland, but if they had lost by two or three then they could not really have complained. These finals are a big step-up for them, and it showed.

This game is seen as make-or-break for Michael O’Neill’s side, who play Germany in their final group game, but their biggest problem is that I do not see them making many chances.

The danger is that if Northern Ireland do go on the attack then they could get opened up and I hope that does not happen.

Ukraine had chances in their defeat by Germany but they looked like they knew they were second-best in that game. They will not have that approach in Lyon.

Germany v Poland

Germany v Poland (Paris, 20:00 BST)

Both of these teams won their first games and showed us a little bit of what they are about.

Germany were unspectacular but, as always, efficient against Ukraine while Poland’s dangerous attack was too strong for Northern Ireland.

The Poles look like a decent side but I am backing Germany to do what they always seem to do, which is defend well, make good decisions in games, take their chances – and win.

Lawro’s pre-tournament picks – Going through: Germany and Poland Third place: Ukraine Going home: Northern Ireland

GROUP D

Games Score Lawro’s prediction
Friday, 17 June
Czech Republic v Croatia x-x 1-1
Friday, 17 June
Spain v Turkey x-x 2-0
Czech Republic v Croatia

Czech Republic v Croatia (Saint Etienne, 17:00 BST)

The Czech Republic held out for 87 minutes before conceding against Spainand their formation was something like 9-1 towards the end.

The Czechs really need to get something out of this game so they will be more attacking, but they will have to be careful.

I was at Croatia’s opening win over Turkey and they looked strong. Luka Modric got the headlines for his spectacular winner but there is plenty of quality in their team.

Spain v Turkey

Spain v Turkey (Nice, 20:00 BST)

I was disappointed with Turkey’s performance against Croatia. They only looked like scoring when 18-year-old Emre Mor came on with 20 minutes to go.

They will need a big improvement to get anything out of this game, but they probably won’t see much of the ball.

It was a case of ‘same old Spain’ against the Czech Republic. They dominated possession but the main reason they did not score for so long was that they decided not to shoot whenever they got near to goal.

Lawro’s pre-tournament picks – Going through: Croatia and Spain Third place: Turkey Going home: Czech Republic

GROUP E

Games Score Lawro’s prediction
Friday, 17 June
Italy v Sweden x-x 1-1
Saturday, 18 June
Belgium v Republic of Ireland x-x 0-0
Italy v Sweden

Italy v Sweden (Toulouse, 14:00 BST)

Italy’s win over Belgium was another demonstration of why they are a tournament team.

They gave the Belgians nothing and they are very clever about it – even down to them sharing their bookings out to stop attacks without getting anyone sent off.

Apart from one or two players, Sweden looked pretty ordinary against the Republic of Ireland.

As well as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Martin Olsson looked dangerous when he came forward down the left, but he was given far too much room – he will not get that against Italy.

Belgium v Republic of Ireland

Belgium v Republic of Ireland (Bordeaux, 14:00 BST)

Belgium lost their opening game against Italy but they will still expect to win their remaining matches.

Like lots of teams, they struggled to break down the Italians and I think the Republic of Ireland will try to shut them out too.

I am going to go for another draw for Martin O’Neill’s side.

The Republic actually played really well for a large part of their game against Sweden, especially going forward, so it was a huge disappointment for them that they failed to win it.

Lawro’s pre-tournament picks – Going through: Belgium and Italy Third place: Sweden Going home: Republic of Ireland

GROUP F

Games Score Lawro’s prediction
Saturday, 18 June
Iceland v Hungary x-x 1-0
Saturday, 18 June
Portugal v Austria x-x 2-0
Iceland v Hungary

Iceland v Hungary (Marseille, 17:00 BST)

On paper, these were the two weakest teams in the group but Hungary opened with a shock win over Austria and Iceland surprised me too by holding Portugal.

Another win for Hungary would effectively send them through but, based on what I have seen so far, I am going to go with Iceland.

Portugal v Austria

Portugal v Austria (Paris, 20:00 BST)

A few people saw Austria as dark horses in this tournament but they were disappointing against Hungary and I am still not sure where their goals will come from.

I still see Portugal as real contenders, however, despite them being held by Iceland. It was a similar game to England against Russia in that Portugal should have had it won by half-time.

Lawro’s pre-tournament picks – Going through: Portugal and Austria Third place: Hungary Going home: Iceland


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Euro 2016
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