Once again, many fans around the world are looking forward to enjoying the European Championships. This year, Euro 2016 is bigger as well as better. With top class soccer stars from all over the world competing to show off their skills and play for their team to win, the championship will be a blockbuster event. Although many teams from around the world will be participating in the tournament, only four will have a chance to reach the semi-finals and two the final, yet, only one team will win the coveted trophy.
The 2016 European Championships will see eight teams battling out to secure a place in the top final four countries that will appear in France next month. The match-ups so far are great and competition remains at a high level, but only one team will come out on top. Who will it be?
Here is a look at the match-ups of the teams so far:
Sweden vs. Denmark
Sweden is going into this match as the favorite and is hoping to make an example of Denmark. However, Sweden is determined to play and win regardless of the amount of past wins the Swedish team has behind them. The captain of the Swedish team Zlatan Ibrahimovic carries with him a wealth of experience on the field and teammates are hoping his expertise will help defeat the Denmark team. Although Ibrahimovic has reached the age of 34, still he is force to recon with. His past exploits on the field has won him respect from both fellow team members and competing players. During qualifying rounds, he managed to score eight goals throughout the 10 games the team played.
Denmark on the other hand boasts the expert service of well-loved coach Morten Olson, whom has been coaching the team for the last 15 years and has developed a strong bond with the players. In addition, the Danes have their attacking player Christian Erikson to give support. Furthermore, Nicklas Bendtner who has plenty experience will continue playing the role of main striker.
Overall, Sweden is expected to win in this match-up and Denmark will have to pull off a surprise if they hope to reach the finals. Fans will be out in their numbers to cheer on their team.
Ukraine vs. Slovenia
The Ukraine and Slovenia game will be a tough match-up as both teams will be going head-to-head to succeed. In 2012, Slovenia surprised Ukraine by beating them and so the Ukrainians are coming into this one with a score to settle.
Slovenia proved they are the better team when they trumped Ukraine 3-2 in the Euro 2000 playoff. Ukraine, which has less international experience than Slovenia, has only been a part of one European Championship so far. For them to get around Slovenia, they will have to employ better skill and ball control on their part.
Slovenia, the more experienced of the two is taking part in the championship for the fourth time in 16 years. To have a fighting chance at the top teams, they brought back on board their veteran manager Srecko Katanec who used his experience to take them to the Euro 2000 and World Cup 2002. The team did not really show any threat to England and Switzerland in-group matches and this reflected a bit bad on their moral.
Still, with Ukraine having tough players like Yevhen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko to ruffle the feathers of Slovenians, they stand a good chance of coming out on top. It will be a tussle on the field as both teams has some pride to win back.
Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Ireland
Ireland will be going into Euro 2016 as a tough team to beat, especially since they have built up a reputation after beating Slovakia and piped world champions Germany 1-0. Although soccer experts have seen improvement in Ireland football, still they are optimistic about whether the team can hold their own against other top teams when the going gets rough.
Bosnia-Herzegovina is seen as in the same bracket as Ireland by some experts. Their 2014 World Cup participation was disappointing to their fans and this reflected bad on their manager Safet Susic who eventually resigned. Since the new manager’s appointment Mehmed Bazdarevic took effect, the team seemed to steady itself.
Although they took beatings from Cyprus and Israel, still Bosnia gained back their confidence to win five games from the last six that they played. In the recent group B match held, they came from behind to neck out Cyprus 3-2.
Soccer experts are giving the thumps up to Bosnia above Ireland in the Euro 2016 football games. The quality of Bosnia football has increased and their fans can expect to see a better showing on the field.
Norway vs. Hungary
Norway and Hungary will have to go neck-to-neck to decide which team is the better team as both are on the same level. If there is a draw at the matchup, both teams might have to face tougher opponents to have a go at the final of the championship trophy.
Still Norway stands with a better record than Hungary, which is in a discouraging mood after losing to Greece 4-3. The Hungarians had the lead by 3-2 but late in the final half Greece came on strong to finish the game a winner.
Norway thus far has a better chance of beating their opponent Hungary as they are still on a high. If Hungary hopes to survive the Norwegians, they will have to go into the match will a stronger team spirit.
The Euro 2016 finals seem to be building up quite well, with the eight teams training hard and hoping to shine. With such awesome teams about to take the field in the hunt for glory, fans will see great football playing at its best.