Euro 2020 Quarterfinals Preview - 07/02/2021

by Alec McMordie

Friday Euro 2020: Quarterfinals Preview

The knockout stage of the Euro 2020 continues on Friday, with the first two matches in the quarterfinals.

Spain plays Switzerland on ESPN at noon ET at Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

La Furia Roja outlasted Croatia, 5-3, in a wild Round of 16 match on Monday. Spain gave the Chequered Ones the lead 20 minutes into the game on an own goal. The Red Fury responded by scoring three straight goals, with Manchester City’s Ferran Torres giving them a 3-1 lead in the 76th minute in the second half. But Croatia scored twice with five minutes left in regulation time and two minutes into extended time to force the extra 30 minutes of action. Spain scored twice in the first fifteen-minute period to secure the victory.

Spain opened their tournament with a 0-0 draw against Sweden in the group stage. They then settled for a 1-1 draw with Poland. La Furia Roja needed a result in their final group stage match, and they responded with a resounding 5-0 win against Slovakia to finish in second place in Group E with five points. Two of those scores came from own-goals from the Slovakians.

The Red Fury has scored 11 times in this event while conceding just four times. They have scored ten goals in their last two matches. The three-time Euro champions have lost in the Round of 16 in their two most recent major international tournaments in the 2018 World Cup and the 2016 Euro. 

Switzerland pulled off the upset of the tournament by defeating France, 5-4, in penalty kicks to resolve their 3-3 score after extra time in their Round of 16 match on Monday. National Swiss scored first from Haris Seferovic’s goal 15 minutes into the contest. Trailing 3-1 after Les Bleus scored in the 75th minute, the Swiss scored two goals in the final nine minutes of regulation to force the extra period against the reigning 2018 World Cup champions. Both teams kept scoring in the penalty kick shootout before Paris-Saint Germa’s Kylian Mbappe missed his shot to hand Switzerland the victory and the right to advance to the quarterfinals. 

The Swiss National Team opened with a 1-1 draw against Wales. They then lost to Italy, 3-0. Switzerland needed the three points from a victory against Turkey last Sunday, and La Nati responded with a 3-1 win. They finished in third place in Group A but earned one of the four third-place qualifying spots.
National Swiss has scored seven times while giving up eight goals. Seferovic’s brace against the French gave him three goals in his last two matches. Switzerland lost in the Round of 16 in the 2016 Euro. They made the semifinals in the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019.

BetOnline lists Spain as a -0.75 goal line favorite with the total set at 2.5.

Italy plays Belgium on ESPN at 3 PM ET at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. 

Italy advanced to the quarterfinals with their 2-1 victory against Austria last Saturday. The match was scoreless after regulation time before the Azzurri scored twice in the first 15 minutes of the extra period. The Austrians pulled within one goal at the 114th mark but could not force a penalty kick shootout with a second goal. Austria’s score did end Italy’s 11-game streak of clean sheets that had lasted over 1000 minutes in international play. 

The Italians have been one of the most impressive teams in the tournament by winning all three of their matches in the group stage. They opened this event with a 2-0 victory against Turkey. The Azzurri followed that up with a 3-0 victory against Switzerland. Manager Roberto Mancini’s side concluded the group stage with a 1-0 win against Wales last Sunday using many of his bench players in the match. Italy has scored nine times in their four games.

Belgium eked by Portugal, 1-0, to advance to the quarterfinals on Sunday. Thorgan Hazard scored in the 42nd minute of the first half in the only goal in the match. Injuries played a role in the second half, with Kevin De Bruyne leaving the pitch early in the second half before Eden Hazard exited the game late in the second half with a hamstring injury. Both players are doubts against Italy. 

The Red Devils are the number one ranked team by FIFA and the second-ranked team in the ELO ratings. They won all three of their group stage matches. Manager Roberto Martinez’s group opened with a 3-0 victory against Russia before beating Denmark, 2-1. They defeated Finland, 2-0, in their final group stage match. 

Belgium has scored seven times in this event while allowing just one goal. Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku leads the team with three goals. 

BetOnline lists Italy as a -0.25 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2. 

The winners of these two matches advance to play in the semifinals on ESPN on Tuesday at 3 PM ET.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

© 2021 Al McMordie's All Rights Reserved.