Wales to win? Euro 2020 predictions v the 5 Live pundits

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June 26, 2021
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    Mark Lawrenson

    BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson is taking on BBC Radio 5 Live's pundits, presenters and commentators to predict the outcome of every game at the 2020 European Championship.

    Lawro is still bottom of the scoreboard at the start of the knockout phase, but he is pleased that Wales have proved him wrong in reaching the last 16.

    "Wales have been fabulous," he said. "I didn't fancy them to get out of what was a tough group, so they have done great.

    "As far as the rest of the draw goes, all the big-hitters are through as expected.

    "The tournament starts here, really – there are some cracking ties to look forward to. I just hope I start doing a bit better at picking some exact scores to climb the table."

    Leaderboard at end of group stage

    Lawro's predictions for the last 16 ties

    Games Score Lawro's prediction
    Saturday, 26 June
    Wales v Denmark x-x 1-0
    Italy v Austria x-x 2-0
    Sunday, 27 June
    Netherlands v Czech Republic x-x 1-0
    Belgium v Portugal x-x 1-1P
    Monday, 28 June
    Croatia v Spain x-x 1-2
    France v Switzerland x-x 2-0
    Tuesday, 29 June
    England v Germany x-x P0-0
    Sweden v Ukraine x-x 1-0

    P next to team name = that team wins on penalties

    A correct result (picking whether a team wins or loses, whether it happens in normal time or after extra time or penalties) is worth 10 points. So, if you tip England to beat Germany 2-1 and the Three Lions end up winning on penalties, you get 10 points.

    The exact score earns 40 points, as does correctly predicting that a team will win on penalties, regardless of the score, correct or not. So if you tip Wales P2-2 Denmark and the game finishes 1-1 but Wales win on penalties, you get 40 points, the same as if you get if you had said Wales P1-1 Denmark.

    SATURDAY

    Wales v Denmark

    Wales v Denmark (17:00 BST, Amsterdam)

    Both sides will think they can win this, and I am expecting a really tight game.

    When I think about who will make the difference, though, I would argue that Wales have got two big players in Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, and their support act is quite good as well, especially when it comes to soaking up pressure.

    Wales have faced more shots in their three games so far – 59 – than any other side in the last 16. In fact, only Turkey, with 63, have faced more in the whole tournament.

    Denmark are at the other end of the scale, having faced only 13 shots in their three matches – only Italy and Spain (with 12 apiece) have faced fewer.

    Euro 2020 – teams in the last 16
    Most shots faced (on target) Least shots faced (on target)
    59 – Wales (16) 12 – Italy (2)
    46 – Ukraine (16) 12 – Spain (3)
    45 – Sweden (11) 13 – Denmark (8)
    41 – Switzerland (11) 20 – Germany (7)
    35 – Czech Republic (9) 25 – France (9)

    The Danes have conceded more goals than Wales, though – four to two.

    Denmark will have spells when they are in the ascendancy on Saturday, I am sure, but Rob Page's side have already shown they can hang on in games.

    And, while Wales might not create many chances, they have got the quality to make one of them count.

    I'm not sure me picking Wales to win will make their fans too happy, though. I've been wrong about them so far, after all.

    Lawro's prediction: 1-0

    Pundits' predictions: Karen Carney 2-2P, Chris Waddle 0-2 Dion Dublin 2-1, Clinton Morrison x-x, Chris Sutton 1-2, Rob Green 1-2, Christian Fuchs x-x, Jermaine Jenas P1-1, Emma Saunders x-x, Steve Crossman 1-1P, John Murray x-x, Ian Dennis 0-2, Alistair Bruce-Ball 1-2, Conor McNamara x-x, Vicki Sparks x-x

    Italy v Austria

    Italy v Austria (20:00 BST, London)

    There will be 40,000 fans inside Wembley for this game which I suspect might help Italy more, not that they will really need it. They have probably been the best team playing on the front foot in the tournament so far.

    They way Italy play is the way I think their manager, Roberto Mancini, would want them to be set up if he were still in the side as a player.

    He was a brilliant striker, and he has decided that being attack-minded is the way to get the best out of this team. They have been excellent, and they have created lots of chances for their forwards so far.

    Euro 2020 – teams in the last 16
    Most shots (on target) Fewest shots (on target)
    40 – Denmark (21) 14 – Croatia (10)
    38 – Italy (17) 15 – England (6)
    37 – Spain (19) 16 – Sweden (9)
    36 – Germany (15) 18 – Ukraine (14)
    28 – Netherlands (18) 19 – Portugal (14)

    Austria have been pretty solid so far, and they are never going to be spectacular.

    They have got one or two very good players, but they haven't got many and it's hard to make a case for them keeping Italy out.

    Lawro's prediction: 2-0

    Pundits' predictions: Karen Carney 2-0, Chris Waddle 3-0, Dion Dublin 3-1, Clinton Morrison x-x, Chris Sutton 2-0, Rob Green 2-0, Christian Fuchs x-x, Jermaine Jenas 2-0, Emma Saunders x-x, Steve Crossman 3-0, John Murray x-x, Ian Dennis 2-0, Alistair Bruce-Ball 2-0, Conor McNamara x-x, Vicki Sparks x-x

    SUNDAY

    Netherlands v Czech Republic

    Netherlands v Czech Republic (17:00 BST, Budapest)

    The Czech Republic look a very British-style team to me. By that I mean they are strong, good at set-pieces, and defensively look very good.

    I think this is where their tournament ends though, because the Netherlands look like a better side to me, with more imagination too.

    Before the tournament I was wondering where the Dutch goals would come from, but Georginio Wijnaldum (three goals at Euro 2020) and Memphis Depay (two) have answered my question.

    Lawro's prediction: 1-0

    Pundits' predictions: Karen Carney 1-1P, Chris Waddle 2-1, Dion Dublin 3-2, Clinton Morrison x-x, Chris Sutton 2-1, Rob Green 2-1, Christian Fuchs x-x, Jermaine Jenas 2-1, Emma Saunders x-x, Steve Crossman 2-1, John Murray x-x, Ian Dennis 1-0, Alistair Bruce-Ball 3-2, Conor McNamara x-x, Vicki Sparks x-x

    Belgium v Portugal

    Belgium v Portugal (20:00 BST, Seville)

    Wow. This is a great tie – the top-ranked team in the world, against the holders.

    Both sides have got plenty of match-winners, capable of a moment of genius. I'd argue Belgium have the edge going forward but their defence has got mistakes in them.

    It is very difficult to call, and I think this will be settled by a penalty shoot-out.

    Lawro's prediction: 1-1 after extra time – Portugal to win on penalties

    Pundits' predictions: Karen Carney 2-1, Chris Waddle 3-1, Dion Dublin 2-1, Clinton Morrison x-x, Chris Sutton 3-1, Rob Green 2-1, Christian Fuchs x-x, Jermaine Jenas 2-2P, Emma Saunders x-x, Steve Crossman 2-3, John Murray x-x, Ian Dennis 2-1, Alistair Bruce-Ball 2-2P, Conor McNamara x-x, Vicki Sparks x-x

    MONDAY

    Croatia v Spain

    Croatia v Spain (17:00 BST, Copenhagen)

    I'd been watching Spain and thinking what's wrong with them, and when are they going to get going – and then they came up with the perfect performance against Slovakia.

    We still haven't seen enough of Adama Traore at this tournament but, by the time he came on against Slovakia, Spain were scoring at will.

    This will be far closer of course, but Croatia have not carried much of a goal threat so far and I don't see them causing Spain too many problems.

    Lawro's prediction: 1-2

    Pundits' predictions: Karen Carney 0-2, Chris Waddle 0-2, Dion Dublin 0-3, Clinton Morrison x-x, Chris Sutton 0-2, Rob Green P1-1, Christian Fuchs x-x, Jermaine Jenas P1-1, Emma Saunders x-x, Steve Crossman 0-2, John Murray x-x, Ian Dennis P1-1, Alistair Bruce-Ball 0-1, Conor McNamara x-x, Vicki Sparks x-x

    France v Switzerland

    France v Switzerland (20:00 BST, Bucharest)

    The Swiss are competent but they struggled against Italy in the group stage and I am expecting a similar story here.

    We have not seen France find their groove yet, or not for long spells of games anyway, but they topped a difficult group and people like Paul Pogba have been excellent.

    His passing has been top-drawer and his link-up play with Kylian Mbappe has been impressive too.

    Lawro's prediction: 2-0

    Pundits' predictions: Karen Carney 2-0, Chris Waddle 2-0, Dion Dublin 4-1, Clinton Morrison x-x, Chris Sutton 2-0, Rob Green 1-0, Christian Fuchs x-x, Jermaine Jenas 2-0, Emma Saunders x-x, Steve Crossman 2-0, John Murray x-x, Ian Dennis 2-0, Alistair Bruce-Ball 3-0, Conor McNamara x-x, Vicki Sparks x-x

    TUESDAY

    England v Germany

    England v Germany (17:00 BST, London)

    This is one of the most ordinary Germany sides I have seen for ages, but they are still Germany, in a knockout competition and they are going to enjoy being at Wembley.

    At the very least, they are going to be really, really difficult to beat, and they could even have a really big performance in them.

    That might come against England, who have done what they have had to so far and have probably played well for 90 minutes in total at this tournament – in the first halves of their games against Croatia and the Czechs.

    Sadly for them, those moments have been followed by what I would describe as staccato spells, where they have stagnated in attack and decided to sit back a bit.

    Some of that has been down to Gareth Southgate's team selection, because he has been cautious. He has got some big calls to make now.

    It is going to be extremely close but I think this is going to penalties – and I am backing England to get their own back this time.

    Lawro's prediction: 0-0 after extra time – England to win on penalties

    Pundits' predictions: Karen Carney 2-1, Chris Waddle 2-3, Dion Dublin 2-0, Clinton Morrison x-x, Chris Sutton 2-2P, Rob Green 1-1, Christian Fuchs x-x, Jermaine Jenas 2-1, Emma Saunders x-x, Steve Crossman P2-2, John Murray x-x, Ian Dennis 2-1, Alistair Bruce-Ball 2-1, Conor McNamara x-x, Vicki Sparks x-x

    Sweden v Ukraine

    Sweden v Ukraine (20:00 BST, Glasgow)

    The winners of England-Germany face the winners of this tie in the quarter-finals, which seems quite an appealing draw.

    Lawro's predicted Euro 2020 quarter-final line-up
    Netherlands v Wales France v Spain
    Italy v Belgium Sweden v England

    Alexander Isak has been bright in Sweden's attack, while Ukraine's best moments at Euro 2020 came after they went 2-0 down to the Dutch, and even then they ended up losing 3-2.

    I'm going with Sweden, but this is knockout football. I've tipped two of the ties to go to penalties but I wouldn't be surprised if more of them do and, when it comes down to a shootout, anyone can win it.

    Lawro's prediction: 1-0

    Pundits' predictions: Karen Carney 1-0, Chris Waddle 2-1, Dion Dublin 1-1P, Clinton Morrison x-x, Chris Sutton 1-0, Rob Green P2-2, Christian Fuchs x-x, Jermaine Jenas 2-1, Emma Saunders x-x, Steve Crossman 1-2, John Murray x-x, Ian Dennis 1-0, Alistair Bruce-Ball P1-1, Conor McNamara x-x, Vicki Sparks x-x

    Mark Lawrenson was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

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    June 26, 2021
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