Who will Go Further out of the Home Nations?
With the second round of Euro 2016 now upon us, England, Wales and Northern Ireland (along with the Republic of Ireland) will all compete for a place in the quarter-finals. Both Wales and Northern Ireland are in uncharted territory at a major tournament, while England will be looking to progress beyond the second round at the Euros for the first time since 2004.
With the Second Round of Euro 2016 now upon us, England, Wales and Northern Ireland (along with the Republic of Ireland) will all compete for a place in the quarter-finals. Both Wales and Northern Ireland are in uncharted territory at a major tournament, while England will be looking to progress beyond the second round at the Euros for the first time since 2004.
As intimidating as it may be to look ahead, the Bethut.co.uk team have made their predictions as to which of the home nations will go further…
Let start with England, who for long periods during the final round of Group F games looked as though they would be playing Portugal. Arnor Ingvi Traustason’s injury time goal for Iceland against Austria changed that, however, arguably gifting both sides an easier path to the quarter-finals.
Assuming that England progress, however, their inability to win the group means that they are likely to play France in the next round. Given the home support for the French and world class quality of players like Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet, this could be where the Three Lions adventure ends.
Look away now England fans, but we feel as though Wales have an excellent chance to progress further than England this summer. They must take on a spirited Northern Ireland side in the second round, but the Welsh will be favourites after their 3-0 demolition of Russia and the form of key-players Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale.
From here, the Welsh will face a winnable quarter-finals against either Switzerland or Poland, as they reap the rewards of topping Group B and securing a place in the easier half of the draw. We predict that the Welsh journey will end after a semi-final clash with either Croatia or Belgium, but even this would represent an amazing achievement for Chris Coleman’s team.
Northern Ireland (Second Round)
The Irish defied all odds to reach the knockout phase, beating Ukraine decisively and suffering narrow 1-0 defeats against Poland and Germany. In fact, it was the heroic display of goalkeeper Michael McGovern against Germany that secured Northern Ireland’s progress, as this small nation continues to punch well above its weight.
While the Irish will be underdogs when they take on Wales in the second round, this is a relatively favourable draw that could see them extend their Euro adventure. We feel as though they may be set for a heroic failure against a high-flying Wales team, however, before returning home to a heroes welcome.