As the round of 16 comes to a close, there are some cracking ties to conclude the first round of the knockout stages of Euro 2020.
The highly-anticipated clash between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium has fans excited for the clash while also incredibly nervous due to the Three Lions’ tournament history with Die Mannschaft. Tuesday’s other tie to complete the last-16 fixtures will be contested between Sweden and Ukraine at Hampden Park.
England v Germany (17:00, BBC One)
This game on paper is one of the stellar fixtures of Euro 2020 and there is no underselling the historic rivalry between these two sides.
England will be aware of what Germany can accomplish when their side is in sync and they will know the danger that they will cause the defence. The defence will be confident though, as they are yet to concede a goal at the finals albeit against opposition that lack the quality that Die Mannschaft possesses. Nonetheless, Gareth Southgate’s defenders will take that stat with them when they take to the Wembley pitch and face off against the villains in many of the Three Lions’ mosaics over the years.
There are still a lot of questions to be asked of Southgate over what appears to be an impotence in his side’s attack, having only mustered two goals in narrow 1-0 victories in the group stage. It will be interesting to see how he sets up his side and if he will take the shackles off for attacking freedom while still remaining grounded with his defensive organisation.
Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka have put their names in the hat for a starting place as the pair brought a much-needed energy to the side against the Czech Republic and they both showed they are willing to test defences by running at them. Harry Kane needs to silence his critics and he will be eager to open his Euros account when it matters and he would likely welcome the brave types of Grealish and Saka around him to save him from dropping in deep.
Joachim Löw’s side have shown they can score an abundance of goals but they are struggling with consistency. They nearly bowed out at the group stage when they were behind against Hungary in Munich but they were rampant against Portugal. Löw will need to address this problem ahead of Tuesday’s clash at Wembley if his side are to make the quarter-finals.
Their attack seems to play with more fluidity than England but they have also shown that their defence can be breached which is why Southgate needs to really consider his risk-taking attackers for this fiery fixture.
Sweden v Ukraine (20:00, BBC One)
Sweden have been rather impressive since their very defensive opening encounter with Spain. They have shown not only that they can be resilient at the back while hunting the ball in numbers, but they have shown how clinical they can be when they do burst forward.
Emil Forsberg stepped up for the Swedes to handle the goalscoring burden but his side do work well collectively to help provide with the chances that he has been able to put away. Young forward Alexander Isak has looked bright but he has not been able to open his Euro 2020 account yet. If Sweden can once again show their organisation at the back as well as their quality on the break, they stand a great chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
Ukraine will need to battle relentlessly to match Sweden in this tie. After a disappointing defeat to Austria last time out, Andriy Shevchenko’s side will need to be much tighter at the back and pose much more of a threat in attack if they are to enjoy further success in this tournament.
They will be heavily reliant on their top scorer Andriy Yarmolenko but the West Ham United wide-man cannot carry this burden alone. He will need key players alongside him to step up if Ukraine are to reach the quarter-finals.