Euro 2020: Can England get past Germany? Guide to the last-16

And that’s that – the Euro 2020 group stages are over and now it’s time for the business end. 

The tournament has been up and running for nearly two weeks now and it has given just as much drama as a regular league season. Shocking moments, unexpected results and signs of unity togetherness have accompanied the goalscoring action so far this summer.

But after a few days of permutations and potential possibilities, we now know the 16 teams competing in the knockout rounds and their potential routes to the July 11 final at Wembley.

Sportsmail analyses the eight ties that will greet us when the do-or-die ties start this weekend… 

The Euro 2020 group stages have come to an end after nearly a fortnight of dramatic action

The Euro 2020 group stages have come to an end after nearly a fortnight of dramatic action

Sportsmail analyses the eight ties that will greet us at the last-16 stage of the tournament

Sportsmail analyses the eight ties that will greet us at the last-16 stage of the tournament

WALES vs DENMARK (Saturday June 26 – 17:00 BST – Amsterdam)

Tournament form so far (Win-Draw-Loss): 

Wales: 1-1-1 (Form Rating: 6/10)

Denmark: 1-0-2 (Form Rating: 6/10) 

On paper, Wales looked like they were set for a difficult group stage this summer. 

Derailed by Ryan Giggs’ suspension just before the tournament and thrown in with Roberto Mancini’s Italy, knockout stage regulars Switzerland and the hipster pick for ‘dark horses’ Turkey, many thought Rob Page’s men would struggle to get beyond the first round.

Wales got through a very difficult Euro 2020 group with Italy, Switzerland and Turkey

Wales got through a very difficult Euro 2020 group with Italy, Switzerland and Turkey

But how wrong those sceptics were in the end. Wales breezed through the group in second place and didn’t even need to win their final game against Italy to make it through to the last-16. 

Remaining on-par with the likes of Switzerland and Turkey shows Page’s men will be a tough ask for anyone in the knockout stages. After a slow start, star men Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale are starting to peak at the right time, Danny Ward looks like a force to be reckoned with in goal while Joe Rodon and Kieffer Moore do not look out of place at this level. 

Despite a very different squad to the team that played in Euro 2016, Wales appear to have the same togetherness that accompanied them to the semi-finals. The fact they will be able to take more fans to Amsterdam for this last-16 tie rather than the costly trips to Baku could be an important factor this weekend.

Wales will now face Denmark in the last-16 who are everyone's second best team at Euro 2020

Wales will now face Denmark in the last-16 who are everyone’s second best team at Euro 2020

Denmark had to deal with Christian Eriksen's cardiac arrest in their first match with Finland

Denmark had to deal with Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest in their first match with Finland

Wales will face a Denmark side who has become everyone’s second team after Christian Eriksen’s shock collapse in their opening match of the tournament against Finland. 

After bravely coming back on the pitch to play out a 1-0 loss to Finland, Denmark showed heart in a slight defeat to Belgium before a 4-1 win over Russia sealed their knockout spot and provided every fan with a feel-good moment in this tournament.

The Danes can now put the Eriksen incident behind them and focus back on the knockout games that await. Since winning Euro 92, Denmark have only been to the quarter-finals once since then – in Euro 2008 – so will want to get past this one. 

Star men 

Wales: Aaron Ramsey – Gareth Bale was the man on everyone’s lips at the start of the campaign but it’s the Juventus midfielder who is Wales’ best player in the tournament so far.

Aaron Ramsey (right) holds important experience and is Wales' brightest spark at Euro 2020

Aaron Ramsey (right) holds important experience and is Wales’ brightest spark at Euro 2020

Ramsey has linked up with Bale to excellent effect and his goal against Turkey in the group stages finally got the ball rolling again for Page’s men. He may miss a few, but the 30-year-old’s ability to create chances from deep is a useful asset for Wales.

Denmark: Youssef Poulsen – Two goals in the tournament so far means Poulsen is the man who Wales will need to look out for in Denmark’s final third. 

The 27-year-old will chase down everything and is a real fox in the box. He makes up a decent spine in this Denmark side which includes Premier League players Kasper Schmeichel, Andreas Christensen and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.  

Denmark's Youssef Poulsen has two goals at the European Championship so far this summer

Denmark’s Youssef Poulsen has two goals at the European Championship so far this summer

ITALY vs AUSTRIA (Saturday June 26 – 20:00 BST – Wembley)

Tournament form so far (Win-Draw-Loss):

Italy: 3-0-0 (Form Rating: 10/10)

Austria: 2-0-1 (Form Rating: 7/10)

Very few had Italy on their contenders list to be lifting the Euro 2020 title on July 11 – that’s not the case now after a brilliant group stage for Roberto Mancini’s side. 

The Azzurri won all three of their matches in convincing style. Turkey and Switzerland were swotted away by 3-0 scorelines which gave them the luxury of resting several key men for the visit of Wales in the final group game. 

Italy were perfect in Group A and are currently on a 30-match unbeaten run in internationals

Italy were perfect in Group A and are currently on a 30-match unbeaten run in internationals

Italy’s strength in depth will be key for their title chances. When Marco Veratti doesn’t play then Manuel Locatelli can slot straight in. Francesco Acerbi can deputise well should Giorgio Chiellini fail to recover in time. 

Up front, Andrea Belotti, Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi are all exciting options that didn’t even start the country’s first two games in the tournament. Ciro Immobile, Domenico Berardi and Lorenzo Insigne will be a tough trio to oust. 

Italy have been exceptional all round and are on a 30-game unbeaten run, while they have won their last 11 matches without even conceding a goal. 

The Azzurri have the most successful manager in the tournament in Roberto Mancini (above)

The Azzurri have the most successful manager in the tournament in Roberto Mancini (above)

But Austria come into the knockout stages with some excellent strength in depth of their own. 

The likes of Christoph Baumgartner, Marko Arnautovic and Marcel Sabitzer are excellent options up front, but Michael Gregoritsch and Sasa Kalajdzic have shown they can do some damage off the bench.

At the back, David Alaba, Martin Hinteregger and Stefan Lainer have shown they can affect both ends of the pitch. Write off this Austria side at your peril. 

Italy face an Austria side who had to work to get out of their group with Holland and Ukraine

Italy face an Austria side who had to work to get out of their group with Holland and Ukraine

Star men

Italy: Ciro Immobile – The Lazio man has struggled to produce consistent performances at international level but goals in the opening two games of this tournament stand him in good stead of the knockouts.

The 31-year-old doesn’t even need to play well to end up on the scoresheet so Austria will need to be alert for the whole 90 minutes on Saturday. 

Austria: David Alaba – Italy’s opponents have plenty of options up front but it’s at the back where they need to be focused against Mancini’s free-scoring Azzurri side. 

The 28-year-old’s experience of big knockout matches for Bayern Munich will come in useful at Wembley – the place where the national team captain won the 2013 Champions League title.  

David Alaba will bring vital experience at the back after several trophies with Bayern Munich

David Alaba will bring vital experience at the back after several trophies with Bayern Munich

HOLLAND vs CZECH REPUBLIC (Sunday June 27 – 17.00 BST – Budapest)

Tournament form so far (Win-Draw-Loss):

Holland: 3-0-0 (Form Rating: 10/10)

Czech Republic: 1-1-1 (Form Rating: 6/10)  

As expected, Frank de Boer’s Holland breezed through Group C that involved matches against Austria, Ukraine and North Macedonia. 

Holland were another team to get through the group stages with ease by winning every tie

Holland were another team to get through the group stages with ease by winning every tie

Holland were given a right good scare by Ukraine who hauled themselves level from 2-0 down late on, but Denzel Dumfries’ late header sealed the victory for the Oranje. 

Routine victories have followed since then but there is still the feeling that De Boer’s men are yet to come up against a proper test so far this tournament. 

The Dutch coach also has some selection dilemmas ahead of him – particularly up front. Does the tall Wout Weghorst get the nod over pacy forward Donyell Malen – who impressed in the victory over North Macedonia in the final group game?

Frank de Boer has some selection dilemmas ahead of the knockout stages next week

Frank de Boer has some selection dilemmas ahead of the knockout stages next week

In midfield, teenage options Ryan Gravenberch gave de Boer something to think about over Martin de Roon, who is the more experienced having starred for Atalanta in recent years. 

The Czech Republic are one of the surprise packages of the tournament, with Jaroslav Silhavy’s side needing just two matches to qualify for the knockout stages. 

One of the key attributes in this Czech side is their resolute defence from inside their own penalty area, which was clear in the first match against Scotland where their back line put their bodies on the line at Hampden Park. 

But with players such as Tomas Soucek and Patrick Schick, the Czechs show they can produce the goods in the final third when needed. Despite a poor display against England on Tuesday, they should not be underestimated. 

Czech Republic finished third  in Group D after losing to England at Wembley on Wednesday

Czech Republic finished third  in Group D after losing to England at Wembley on Wednesday

Star men

Holland – Georginio Wijnaldum: The 30-year-old is a completely different player to the one we have seen at Liverpool over the past few seasons.

The all-action midfielder is a recognised goalscorer for his country and has scored 25 goals in 78 caps – including four in eight games this year. His late running into the box is a key asset for the Oranje, with Memphis Depay also a threat further in front. 

Czech Republic – Patrick Schick: The 25-year-old is unlikely to take home a Euro 2020 medal but he could take the goal of the tournament prize away with him this summer.

The Czech forward’s stunning 50-yard goal against Scotland is already a highlight from this summer and Schick is a surprise contender for the Golden Boot award with three goals. 

Patrick Schick has already scored what looks like being goal of the tournament for the Czechs

Patrick Schick has already scored what looks like being goal of the tournament for the Czechs

BELGIUM VS PORTUGAL (Sunday June 27 – 20.00 BST – Seville)

Tournament form so far (Win-Draw-Loss):

Belgium: 3-0-0 (Form Rating: 10/10)

Portugal: 1-1-1 (Form Rating: 7/10) 

Roberto Martinez’s Belgium are another team who expected to win their group, but found it much more difficult to breeze past their first opponents than the other unbeaten teams in the tournament so far.

Belgium also won all of their matches but were made to work hard by the teams in their group

Belgium also won all of their matches but were made to work hard by the teams in their group

The opening match saw the Red Devils thump Russia 3-0 in the first match before things got a little tricker for Belgium from that point.

Martinez’s men needed a Kevin de Bruyne substitution to click them into gear against Denmark – a game which saw them fall 1-0 behind – while they needed 74 minutes to break down minnows Finland in their final group game. 

That being said, Belgium’s squad is still filled with talent and have one of Europe’s elite forwards in Romelu Lukaku – who has three goals already in this tournament so far. 

The reigning European champions had to work very hard to get out of the group of death but now they’re out of that conundrum, they will be one of the teams hoping to go all the way this summer. 

Despite finishing third, Portugal advance into the last-16 where they will face Belgium

Despite finishing third, Portugal advance into the last-16 where they will face Belgium

Fernando Santos’ all-star side had to wait 84 minutes to get past Hungary and were thrashed by Germany in matchday two, but a positive enough result against France eased their woes in terms of qualification. 

The front four of Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota and Bernardo Silva is one of the best in the tournament, even though it hasn’t been as devastating as it looks on paper. 

After spending years watching rivals Spain sit as the dominant European team on the continent, this is Portugal’s chance to replicate their World Cup and European double between 2010 and 2012. 

Star men

Belgium: Kevin de Bruyne – Lukaku is the main man up top but Belgium have already proven this summer that they are a completely different team without de Bruyne. 

The Manchester City man has that magic moment within him and his return to fitness is a much-needed boost for Martinez and his side. 

Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo – Who else? The 36-year-old became the all-time record goalscorer in European Championship history in the group stages, the perfect weapon you need to try and become back-to-back European champions.

Cristiano Ronaldo has already enjoyed a productive tournament with five goals

Cristiano Ronaldo has already enjoyed a productive tournament with five goals

CROATIA vs SPAIN (Monday June 28 – 17.00 BST – Copenhagen)

Tournament form so far (Win-Draw-Loss):

Croatia: 1-1-1 (Form Rating: 6/10)

Spain: 1-2-0 (Form Rating: 7/10)  

Croatia were given an almighty scare by British sides England and Scotland in Group D but managed to sneak through via second-place in the group. 

Croatia were given a scare in Group D but two late goals against Scotland took them through

Croatia were given a scare in Group D but two late goals against Scotland took them through

At one point on Tuesday evening, Zlatko Dalic’s side were crashing out of Euro 2020 as they were being held to a 1-1 draw by Scotland, but second-half goals by Luka Modric and Ivan Persic got them over the line in Glasgow. 

The Croats started the tournament slowly and failed to land a glove on England in their 1-0 loss in the opening match, but are starting to get things right in front of goal.

The likes of Modric and Perisic are bringing the goals from midfield but No 9 options Ante Rebic, Bruno Petkovic have not got going yet at the tournament.   

But other middle men such as Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic mean they are well-stocked in the spine of the team, while Dejan Lovren’s return from injury is a welcome boost. 

Spain saved the best until last in their group with a 5-0 win over Slovakia on Wednesday night

Spain saved the best until last in their group with a 5-0 win over Slovakia on Wednesday night

They will face a Spain side who were painfully awkward in their group stages – but made it through on the final day of fixtures with a crushing 5-0 victory over Slovakia. 

Luis Enrique’s side are not the outfit that won back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012 but they do have the players to hurt any team. The final group game victory showed that La Roja can hurt teams from set pieces, as well as pass teams off the park. 

Question marks do still exist up front with Alvaro Morata, who is capable of finding the net but does tend to miss more than he scores. Gerard Moreno, Pablo Sarabia and Adama Traore may have to be called to step up. 

Star men

Croatia: Luka Modric – The Real Madrid midfielder’s goal against Scotland shows just what the 35-year-old can bring: that moment of magic. 

Croatia have incredible midfield quality including Real Madrid's Luka Modric (middle)

Croatia have incredible midfield quality including Real Madrid’s Luka Modric (middle)

The experienced midfielder is cool, composed and has seen it all in football. He may not have the flashy skills as other players do, but he sure can influence a game. 

Spain: Sergio Busquets – Spain’s metronome in midfield was missing for the first two games but his return for the third match helped them get into the knockouts. 

Should any of the knockout games get stretched in midfield then Busquets could act as the calming influence in the Spain midfield. 

Sergio Busquets will provide the midfielder reinforcements for Luis Enrique's La Roja

Sergio Busquets will provide the midfielder reinforcements for Luis Enrique’s La Roja

FRANCE vs SWITZERLAND (Monday June 28 – 20.00 BST – Bucharest) 

Tournament form so far (Win-Draw-Loss):

France: 2-1-0 (Form Rating: 8/10)

Switzerland: 1-1-1 (Form Rating: 6/10) 

France were one of the teams that made it through the Group of Death, but predictions that Didier Deschamps’ side will be runaway champion have taken a blow in the group stages. 

Les Bleus were impressive against Germany in the first game but a stalemate with Hungary in matchday two shows this all-star France side is not unbeatable. 

Pre-match rows between Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud show that all may not be completely well in the France camp, while excuses from Deschamps and Antoine Griezmann about the crowd and the heat in the Hungary draw seem a little petulant. 

That being said, France do have one of the best squads in the tournament and Karim Benzema seems to have slotted in well up front after his exile from national team duty. Paul Pogba seems in the mood too, which does not bode well for France’s rivals. 

Switzerland edged through their group by being one of the four best-placed teams that ended in third spot. 

A 3-1 victory over Group A whipping boys Turkey saw Vladimir Petkovic’s side finally click into gear after a slow start to the tournament. 

Fans have been treated to flashes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Breel Embolo and Haris Seferovic at the tournament but question marks still remain over whether they can take that form into the knockout stages. 

Star men  

France – Kylian Mbappe – We’re still waiting to see the best of Kylian Mbappe at this tournament after such a devastating display at the 2018 World Cup. 

But the Frenchman has shown glimpses of explosive pace at times this summer and we could be in for a real treat in the knockout stages. 

Switzerland: Xherdan Shaqiri – The Liverpool midfielder showed he is still Switzerland’s main man after his two goals in the crucial Turkey tie took his side through.

The 29-year-old has that X-Factor that not only makes him rise to the occasion on the big stage, but also makes those around him look better, such as Embolo and Seferovic.  

ENGLAND vs GERMANY (Tuesday June 29 – 17.00 BST – Wembley)

Tournament form so far (Win-Draw-Loss):

England: 2-1-0 (Form Rating: 8/10)

Germany: 1-1-1 (Form Rating: 6/10) 

The Three Lions endured a mixed Group D with Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic but eventually came through as group winners. 

England managed slender victories over Croatia and Czech Republic and while they did not concede a goal in the three games, question marks were raised over how little chances they created.

England had a mixed group stage but made it through as group winners due to two victories

England had a mixed group stage but made it through as group winners due to two victories

Manager Gareth Southgate has some important decisions to make about his team selection. Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell will return to training after isolation a little over 24 hours before the last-16 tie begins, so will the Chelsea duo start?

Other dilemmas include up front, with Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish performing well while Phil Foden and Mount were rested. The return of Harry Maguire from injury is a big boost while Jordan Henderson also got some minutes against the Czech Republic.

Germany came into the tournament looking to give manager Joachim Low a perfect send-off, but a disappointing opening day loss to France threatened to ruin the leaving do for the legendary German boss.

But the 4-1 thrashing of Portugal in matchday two was the perfect tonic to reignite Germany’s hopes this summer. Kai Havertz looks back to his best after a good end to the season with Chelsea, while Serge Gnbary is starting to get in the mood. 

Watch out for the German wing-backs, with Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens showing against Portugal that they cannot be left alone across the pitch. 

Like Spain, it’s not the Germany side that has been a real threat over the past decade, but it’s one with plenty of talent in. 

Star men

England: Raheem Sterling – The 26-year-old is the only player from the Three Lions squad to have found the net this tournament with two well-taken finishes. 

Raheem Sterling has been the only England player to score at the Euro 2020 tournament so far

Raheem Sterling has been the only England player to score at the Euro 2020 tournament so far

Southgate can rely on a player to step up while Harry Kane is still warming up to his best. 

Germany: Joshua Kimmich – His position may be right wing-back but nobody knows where the Bayern Munich man will end up on the pitch. 

The 26-year-old will get up and down the right-hand side throughout the knockout stages but won’t be afraid to pop up as another midfielder to overload teams.  

SWEDEN vs UKRAINE (Tuesday June 29 – 20.00 BST – Glasgow) 

Tournament form so far (Win-Draw-Loss):

Sweden: 2-1-0 (Form Rating: 8/10)

UKRAINE: 1-0-2 (Form Rating: 5/10) 

Sweden haven’t exactly set the world alight with their displays in Euro 2020 so far but some of their players have showed glimpses of attacking brilliance this summer. 

Emil Forsberg is taking over the talisman status that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not been able to adopt this summer due to injury, while Alexander Isak shows he can be a good all-round option for Europe’s elite. 

Sweden reached yet another major tournament knockout stage by topping their group

Sweden reached yet another major tournament knockout stage by topping their group

There’s not a lot of goals in this Sweden side, but there weren’t that many in the group overall.

Andriy Shevchenko’s side just about sneaked into the knockout rounds despite ending the groups with just three points and a negative goal difference.

Ukraine also made hard work of what should have been a relatively easy group and shipped goals in all of their games which will be a concern for the latter rounds. 

Heorhiy Bushchan does not look like the safest pair of hands in goal and the lack of household names could hold Shevchenko’s men back in the latter rounds.

Ukraine legend Andriy Shevchenko has guided his side into the last-16 of the tournament

Ukraine legend Andriy Shevchenko has guided his side into the last-16 of the tournament

Star men 

Sweden: Alexander Isak – The 21-year-old striker is making early in-roads to become the breakout star from this tournament. 

Isak not only has pace, power and dribbling skills but also has good technique in his passing. The way he set up Sweden’s penalty for the winner against Slovakia shows exactly that.

Ukraine – Andriy Yarmolenko: The West Ham winger has been the bright spark for Ukraine this summer, scoring two well-taken goals in the group stage matches with Holland and North Macedonia. 

Letting the 31-year-old back onto his left foot could be bad news for any defence and his goal record this summer proves that.  

West Ham's Andriy Yarmolenko will be key to Ukraine for them to progress beyond the last-16

West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko will be key to Ukraine for them to progress beyond the last-16


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