Euro 2020 quarter-final predictions: England to beat Ukraine, Italy bow out to Belgium

Spain and Czech Republic to also reach the semi-finals

We're down to the last eight teams of Euro 2020 following Tuesday's final round of last-16 games. We take a look at the quarter-final matches.

Final list of teams to qualify for the quarter-finals of Euro 2020

Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine

Euro 2020 quarter-final fixtures

All times UAE

Switzerland v Spain, 8pm

Friday, July 2 in St Petersburg

Switzerland pulled off the shock of the last-16 by eliminating world champions France via penalty shootout. Goalkeeper Yann Sommer was the hero after saving Kylian Mbappe's decisive spot kick, but captain Granit Xhaka and striker Haris Seferovic were the driving force in the comeback to take the game into extra time. Arsenal midfielder Xhaka's passing has been as striking as his bleached blond hair, while Seferovic's double against Les Blues took his tally at the tournament to three. In Spain they face the most free-flowing team in terms of goals, with 10 scored in their past two games. Alvaro Morata silenced a few critics with a superbly taken goal in the 5-3 win over Croatia but it was his all-round performance that really caught the eye. Few front men have a better standup game than Morata and Spain's midfielders need little encouragement in bombing beyond the Atletico Madrid man knowing he is so comfortable controlling the ball at his feet. Unai Simon atoned for his gaffe that led to Croatia's first goal with some outstanding saves but there is a nagging sense that 'La Roja' have been made to look good by inferior opposition.

Prediction: Spain into the semis

Belgium v Italy, 11pm

Friday, July 2 in Munich

If Belgium's golden generation are going to finally win something, they are going to do it the hard way. Belgium breezed through the group phase before dethroning title-holders Portugal in the last 16. Next up is Italy, who survived a ferocious Austria onslaught over 120 minutes to secure their place in the quarter-finals. Roberto Martinez turned to experience for the match against Portugal with Thomas Vermaelen lining up alongside Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld and will likely place his faith in the old guard once again. A 1-0 win was secured courtesy of a Thorgan Hazard screamer but it is older brother Eden who could light up the Azzurri. The Real Madrid forward has underwhelmed so far, but possesses the tools to unlock an Italian defence moulded in the fires of catenaccio. That defence is likely to be made even harder than granite by the expected return of Giorgio Chiellini, with the 36-year-old Juventus centre-back returning to training after sitting out the last two matches. Matteo Pessina pushed his claims for a return tot he starting XI by netting the extra-time winner against Austria, but Roberto Mancini may stick with Marco Verratti to combat the control Kevin de Bruyne and Youri Tielemans will want to assume.

Prediction: Belgium book their tickets to the last four

Czech Republic v Denmark, 8pm

Saturday, July 3 in Baku

Whichever team comes up against the Danes they can assume the role of villains. But the Czechs won't mind playing the party-poopers if it secures them a first semi-final appearance at the Euros since 2004. The Czechs dominated the Netherlands in Budapest, with the 2-0 scoreline flattering the Oranje. Tomas Holes went from unknown to the second-most known Czech player behind Tomas Schick with a man-of-the match performance, with a goal and an assist. While the focus invariably falls on Schick, the Czechs have quality all over the pitch. Ondrej Celustka has been rock solid at the back while Vladimir Coufal is one of the best attacking full-backs in Europe. Denmark are not here out of sympathy though. The Danes demolished Wales 4-0 after putting four past Russia to make it out of a tough group. Kasper Dolberg was simply unplayable, giving the Welsh defence a masterclass in protecting the ball. He only played because of an injury to Yussuf Poulsen but Dolberg's link-up play with Martin Brathwaite, who starred in a wide attacking role, looks a winning combination. Five of the last six games between these two have ended in draws, and it feels like a tie that may need penalties to decide who advances.

Prediction: Czechs leave the party as Denmark dance into the night

Ukraine v England, 11pm

Saturday, July 3 in Rome

After needing results to go their way to make it to the last 16, Ukraine emerged victorious from a tough match against Sweden, making their numerical advantage count following Marcus Danielson's red card in extra time. Few balls will be struck better than the one Oleksandr Zinchenko hit to open the scoring but it is in defence where Ukraine will need to vastly improve if they are to cause an upset. England pulled off arguably their best performance in a knockout round with an impressive 2-0 win over Germany, with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane on the scoresheet. The day belonged to Bukayo Saka, who will surely retain his place as part of that attacking troika, though he was withdrawn as a precaution on Tuesday. Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier outflanked their German counterparts as Gareth Southgate looks to have found a winning formula. And while all and sundry are crowing about England's supposed easy route to the final, in some aspects this match poses a bigger challenge than Germany. Euro 2020 has been largely a home tournament for England so far, but they travel to Rome where support will be in short supply. Beat Ukraine and they head back to Wembley for the semis and, a nation hopes, the final.

Prediction: England to win ugly

Updated: June 30th 2021, 9:45 AM
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