'We deserved to lose': Pogba's truth bomb, slow mo shows Salah genius, Bruce's last stand in PL Talking Points
With those pesky internationals out the way, the Premier League was back in action and it was a weekend full of drama.
Match Day 2 of EURO 2020 is now in full swing and three teams will face potential elimination should they not get the result they need in tonight’s matches.
Ukraine and North Macedonia will fight it out to likely remain alive in Group C after both lost their opening fixtures.
Denmark will look to recover from the tragic scenes that played out during their match against Finland when they take on the powerful Belgians in Copenhagen and Netherlands and Austria will both mount challenges on top spot in Group C and certain advancement to the knockout phase.
Good luck with your EURO 2020 tips for this evening and be sure to enter them in the sheet below to play a small role in formulating the voice of the crowd. Here are the panel’s thoughts on all the action.
Ukraine, Belgium, Netherlands.
The Ukrainians arguably deserved a draw in their opening group-stage game and they showed enough to suggest they’ll be a tough team to beat in this tournament.
They’ve got the quality in the attacking third to take advantage of a North Macedonian side riding a wide of emotion rather than any real technical ability. With Andriy Yarmolenko looking dangerous in attack, it’s hard to look past a Ukrainian victory in Bucharest.
After such frightening scenes in Copenhagen last weekend, it’s hard to know what sort of frame of mind Denmark will be in for this clash.
They could fire up and try and win for their stricken teammate Christian Eriksen, but the more likely scenario is that a rattled Danish side run into a Belgium team cruising towards top spot in the group. With the Red Devils looking to make a statement at the Parken, this is Belgium’s game to lose.
Despite defending like a team that had only just met, the Netherlands showed in their opening 3-2 win over the Ukraine that they might be a better outfit than many critics first believed.
They’ve certainly got a talented bunch of individuals in their midst, but can they break down an Austrian side that looked equally impressive in trouncing North Macedonia first up? This could be closer than one might think, but the Dutch should shade things.
Ukraine, Belgium, Netherlands
North Macedonia failed to live up to the hype against Austria in their opening fixture and while the Dutch may have fallen asleep at the wheel for periods against Ukraine, it will be the men in blue and yellow who win this fixture and stay alive in Group C.
Belgium will beat Denmark for two clear reasons. Firstly, they look a mighty threat at this year’s tournament and secondly, how could anyone expect the Danes to recover emotionally from the events of Sunday evening? They will be brave but fall to more goals from Romelu Lukaku.
Netherlands lost control of their match against Ukraine and cannot do the same should they expect to topple an Austrian team that looked decent against North Macedonia. It should be the Dutch this time round, with Amsterdam proving a considerable advantage to them.
Ukraine, Belgium, Netherlands
We all thought Ukraine were dead and buried against the Dutch, didn’t we? There is a lot of talent on show, and with Andriy Yarmolenko showing he knows the way to goal, this could be a healthy score line.
North Macedonia will put up stiff resistance until the hour mark when Ukraine shift the gears and rattle in three goals, including a bullet from Ruslan Marinovskiy.
Enis Bardhi will pull a goal back with a worldie of a free-kick but it will be all too late.
Denmark are affected negatively by the events against Finland and could go on to lose all three games, or the Danes will show mettle and grit and go out and do it for their man Christian Eriksen.
They will indeed turn up for battle in this one, with Thomas Delaney scoring early to give them something to build on.
By halftime though, the Belgians will have effortlessly turned it around, Thorgan Hazard slamming home and Romelu Lukaku finishing neatly for 2-1.
A fantastic second half display from Denmark will be undone by a late goal from substitute, Kevin De Bruyne, entering the field with a Phantom of the Opera mask to score the vital third.
The Dutch were a little wasteful against Ukraine and their fans will know that they can do so much better. Austria will have been tempted to start Marko Arnautovic after his important goal in the first game, with fit-again Julian Baumgartlinger coming in too.
They will be on the back foot from the early stages, somehow coming into the break level. Netherlands will dominate possession and every statistic in every department.
The second half though will be only minutes old when the seal is broken, and Memphis Depay will end up with a devastating hat-trick in a 4-0 rout.
Ukraine, Belgium, Netherlands
North Macedonia disappointed in their opener, and it is difficult to see them avoiding defeat. Ukraine clawed themselves back into the game against the Netherlands and then succumbed to a late goal following a defensive lapse. The two ‘Ys’ combination in attack could well be a big factor again on the pathway to an absolutely must win game in Bucharest.
Can Denmark somehow bounce back from the calamitous happenings of the previous game? There will of course be great relief across the squad that star player Christian Eriksen seems to be recovering well, yet without his presence its hard to see the Danes being able withstand such an explosive, in-form opponent.
Belgium started their Euro campaign in wonderful fashion and despite playing ‘away’ in Copenhagen they should win comfortably. Star forward Romelu Lukaku may well score again to enhance his bid for the Golden Boot award at tournament’s end.
With home stadium advantage yet again, the Netherlands will dominate proceedings over Austria and cruise to victory.
There’s unlikely to be a repeat of the lapse of concentration and shape that almost cost Oranje dearly against Ukraine. Their opponents will hope to limit the damage ahead of their final group game and from that, goal difference could become potentially critical for progression hopes.
|Match Day 2||Mike||Stuart||Texi||Pablo||The Crowd|
|UKR vs MKD||UKR||UKR||UKR||UKR||?|
|DEN vs BEL||BEL||BEL||BEL||BEL||?|
|NED vs AUT||NED||NED||NED||NED||?|