Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Euro 2024: Chris Sutton's quarter-final predictions – BBC

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Only eight teams are left in Euro 2024, but who will make it to the final in Berlin on 14 July?
BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton did pretty well with his predictions for the last 16, with Switzerland's success against Italy and Turkey's win over Austria the only results he got wrong.
Turkey caught most of you out too – of more than 95,000 votes, only 12% of you backed them to progress – but you were right about the outcome of the other seven ties.
That is a vast improvement on your record in the group stage and means that, like Sutton, from the 44 games played in Germany, you have been correct about 22 of them.
Will there be any more surprises in the quarter-finals? You can make your predictions below, including England against Switzerland, and France – Sutton's pick to win the European Championship – versus Portugal.
Stuttgart, 17:00 BST
Spain are the best team in the competition.
Germany were jubilant when Niclas Fullkrug scored their stoppage-time equaliser in their final group game against Switzerland, but they will be gutted that it meant they ended up in this side of the draw. They would rather be playing England, I'm sure.
Germany are not just the hosts, though. They have got a bit about them as well. Antonio Rudiger has arguably been the best central defender at this tournament.
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Highlights: Spain 4-1 Georgia
They are a well-balanced team but Spain have stood out and, wherever you look, they have got quality and nous.
Rodri and Fabian Ruiz have been dominant on the ball in midfield and they have the intelligence of Pedri ahead of them. On the wings, they have Lamine Yamal, who is such an exciting talent, and Nico Williams, who is impossible to stop in one-on-one situations.
So Spain are going to be difficult to stop. If there is a criticism of them at these Euros, it is that they have not been ruthless enough, but, in terms of performance levels, they have been head and shoulders above everyone else.
That makes it very difficult to go against them here, even though Germany have got home advantage and have also been playing well.
Sutton's prediction: 2-1
Hamburg, 20:00 BST
I really don't understand why Portugal manager Roberto Martinez indulges Cristiano Ronaldo the way he does.
We know what a great player Ronaldo has been in the past, and he can still influence games, but you have got to draw the line when it is clear he is having a negative impact on the team.
Why, for example, is Ronaldo taking free-kick after free-kick when there are much better options? It's selfish from him, and he has a massive ego, but why is Martinez allowing it to happen? The bigger fault lies with him, and he should be strong enough to do what is best for the team.
I may end up with a large dollop of egg on my face if Portugal win the tournament and Ronaldo bangs in a couple of 35-yard free-kicks on the way, but I don't see it happening.
In 300 years people will probably still be talking about what a genius Ronaldo was, but he is 39 and I don't know what Martinez is expecting from him. Football has always been a team game and it feels absolutely ridiculous to rely on him like this when you look at how much quality Portugal have right through their side.
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'World class save!' – Oblak brilliantly saves Ronaldo penalty
I picked France to win Euro 2024 before a ball was kicked and I am not going to change my mind now. They were not exactly exciting against Belgium in the last 16, but there were signs that they are coming to life, and they look so solid defensively.
France have scored only three goals in their first four games in Germany – and they were two own goals and a penalty. I am expecting them to click here, though.
I am at this game for Radio 5 Live. My other prediction is that Ronaldo will take seven free-kicks – and not one of them will be on target.
Sutton's prediction: 0-2
Dusseldorf, 17:00 BST
Switzerland are another well-balanced team. They have belief in the way they play, and they seem to be getting stronger as the tournament goes on, as we saw when they beat Italy in the last 16.
I had hung my hat on Italy, thinking the holders had to get going eventually – a bit like I have been doing with England – but they didn't play well and a big part of that was down to how dominant the Swiss were.
There are plenty of similarities with this tie, but I don't think England will be rolled over like Italy. I am not just backing Gareth Southgate's side blindly, because they deserved to beat Slovakia – just about – and maybe a moment like Jude Bellingham's equaliser can change the mood of their tournament.
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Bellingham goal: All the angles
There are still plenty of areas where England need to get better. I hate their lack of balance on the left-hand side. Luke Shaw has not played a minute in this tournament yet, and that was a risk that manager Southgate has got badly wrong.
At the moment, there is not much point dwelling on that. It is all about getting through this game, and England can do it.
I still want to see Cole Palmer start on the right because he offers something different creatively and looks so at ease with himself, but it is pretty obvious that won't happen.
We will see one change at the back because Marc Guehi is suspended, and Ezri Konsa will probably come in, which is fine, but that will be it.
I am not expecting England to do very much different from what we've seen so far.
England are a bits-and-pieces team and are not going to suddenly turn into a side like Spain who play some beautiful football, but they have so much talent that they should still have too much for the Swiss.
Sutton's prediction: 1-0
Berlin, 20:00 BST
What a game Turkey's last-16 win win over Austria was.
I am at this quarter-final for Radio 5 Live and am looking forward to seeing Turkey and their fans in Berlin – their supporters have brought so much to this tournament.
I loved the way Turkey fought to get over the line against Austria – and they did it without their captain, Hakan Calhanoglu, who was suspended for that game but will be back for this one.
Mert Gunok's incredible save in stoppage time was something people will talk about for years and I guess he will now be known as the 'Turkish Gordon Banks'.
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Sublime save from Mert Gunok denies Christoph Baumgartner equaliser
There were many reasons why I expected Austria to win that tie, but Turkey were much better organised defensively than I thought they would be, so credit to their manager, Vincenzo Montella. They always carried a threat on the counter too.
The only problem is they all gave so much in that game. Turkey will need to do it all again to get past the Netherlands, and that is such a big ask.
The 'Oranje Army' have been amazing too, so the atmosphere at the Olympiastadion is going to be incredible.
I am still not fully convinced by the Netherlands team. They beat Romania easily enough last time out, but we don't really know how good Romania are.
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Highlights: Romania 0-3 Netherlands
The Netherlands have to be favourites here, though. With players like Nathan Ake and Virgil van Dijk at the back and Cody Gakpo and Xavi Simons going forward, they have quality all over the pitch.
Memphis Depay misses so many chances that he reminds me of me when I was playing for Chelsea, but his movement is excellent and he does a lot of good work for the team.
This is going to be close but, rather than predicting Turkish delight, it will be a case of a double Dutch strike sending them through.
Sutton's prediction: 2-1
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