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Congratulations

At this point in time – we already miss the daily -tune to ESPN- to watch the next game. We don’t wanna miss to congratulate our winners of the Euro 2020 contest:

The pot has been distributed and I hope everyone will participate again – when we try to crown the next World Cup Champion in 2022!
Keep in mind – the more players we will have – the bigger the pot will be. You have enough time to tell your friends if you enjoyed to participate. If you have ideas how to improve the website or increase the participation, please let me know.

Thanks for playing – see you soon!

The final race is on ….

It’s getting close – only 3 matches to play. Don’t forget to use your ‘golden ball’ if you haven’t yet. In respect of the final bonus question, there is only one member still in the game (10 pts). The long term leader may make it all the way through – but you never know.

Hope you enjoy it. Let me know.

Quarter Final – where are the VAR’s

The straight red card in the 78th minute to Swiss Midfielder Freuler by the english referee “Oliver” changed the flow of the game completely. Based on the UEFA VAR-rules, the VAR actually has the option to change Yellow to Red – that would have been the better option in my opinion. The VIDEO-VAR still could have decided ‘red’ after the main referee shows a yellow for the defensive foul, which was not given from my perspective. It was a clear ‘foul’ but not against the player as it was a regular fight for the ball.

Why aren’t the Video referees not able to tune in and make the necessary changes? The very first decision against Switzerland in history was by the Video-VAR – now when you need ’em – they are not showing up.

Hopefully the referee will enjoy his lifelong vacation at the beaches in Spain.

Playing 10 against 12 isn’t fun anymore.

If you disagree – please comment below.

Knockout Summary

Denmark vs. Wales
Denmark is favored, but Wales is good as well. Gareth Bale is showing why he’s still one of the top talents in the world and Aaron Ramsey is taking charge in the midfield. Denmark may be past its early struggles after Christian Eriksen’s collapse, but still only has one win in the last three contests.

Italy vs. Austria
Italy has raced past everyone in the group stage so far, showing why it is considered one of the favorites in the tournament. Austria has a solid back line with David Alaba and Stefan Lainer, but the Italians are rightfully favored.

Netherlands vs. Czech Republic
Netherlands is unsurprisingly favored to win this one after they cruised through the group stage with three straight victories, winning Group C in the process. Georginio Wijnaldum led the way with three goals while Memphis Depay added two goals and two assists of his own. That’s not to say Czech Republic are already down and out before it even starts, though. They finished the group stage with a 2-0 win, a 1-1 draw, and a narrow 1-0 loss against England, and should put up a fight against the Dutch even though they’re the clear underdogs. Patrik Schick finished the group stage with three goals, including one absolute world-class wonder goal in the opening match.

Croatia vs. Spain
No surprise here that Spain are the favorites to win over Croatia, especially after their 5-0 shellacking of Slovakia in their third and final group stage match. Spain finished in second place, just two points behind Sweden and will take on the second-place team from Group D which ended up Croatia. The Croatians finished the group stage 1-1-1, winning their third and final match with a 3-1 scoreline over Scotland, just barely edging out Czech Republic on a tiebreaker. Luka Modric and his squad will look to upset the Spanish giants despite the odds being stacked against them.

England vs. Germany
England fared better in their group standings than Germany did, but then again England wasn’t drawn into the group of death, either. Three Lions finished top of Group D, logging wins over both Croatia and Czech Republic while ending their match against Scotland in a scoreless draw, scoring only two goals through three games. Germany finished second in Group F, narrowly escaping elimination at the hands of Hungary before they found a late game equalizer. They were able to take down Portugal 4-2 in their second game after opening the group campaign with a 1-0 loss to France. Now these two sides will face off against each other in the Round of 16, and while England is only slightly favored here to Germany, I would argue it could be flipped as Germany definitely has the talent to move on. This game could easily go either way, and will be an exciting affair to watch.

Belgium vs. Portugal
Portugal, after escaping Group F in third place, will have to take on a very good Belgium side who went 3-0-0 in Group B, locking up the top spot without much trouble. Belgium only allowed one goal through three games — their 2-1 win over Denmark — while scoring seven of their own. Romelu Lukaku was a standout as he notched three goals for the Red Devils while several other players added one each. Portugal also totaled seven goals through the group stage, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way with an impressive five. Belgium is favored to win, and I think that’s the right call, but Ronaldo and the Portugal squad could be poised for an upset.

France vs. Switzerland
The reigning World Cup champs are riding high after finishing first in Group F. Karim Benzema led the way with two goals as Kylian Mbappe surprisingly didn’t get even one. They’re heavily favored to beat Switzerland and rightfully so — as the Swiss sneaked through in the Group A’s third-place spot. Switzerland has some big players in Kevin Mbabu and Xherdan Shaqiri, but France is the obvious choice for the win here.

Sweden vs. Ukraine
Sweden finished at the top of Group E thanks to a stoppage time goal from Viktor Claesson in their third and final group stage game, giving them a 3-2 win over Poland. Striker Emil Forsberg scored the other three goals in the opening stage while their defense was able to keep two clean sheets including a scoreless draw with Spain. While Ukraine didn’t fare too well, they slipped through with the third place spot in Group C thanks to the three points they collected from North Macedonia in a 2-1 win. They lost their other two outings, and honestly their odds to win don’t seem low enough, as Sweden should definitely be expected to win this contest.

What is your take? Let me know in your comments below.

Last 16 / Knockout Phase

The knockout stage at Euro 2020 is set, with a lopsided bracket and a series of high-profile matchups in the round of 16 headlining the elimination phase of the competition.

Germany and Portugal ultimately prevailed after a pair of 2-2 draws to secure the final berths in the knockout stage, avoiding the fate of the eight nations who didn’t make it through: Turkey, Finland, Russia, North Macedonia, Scotland, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

Due to the nature of the competition’s format, which has third-place finishers go through and leaves the balance of the bracket in jeopardy until the final 16 are sorted, the knockout pairings do seem to be a bit tilted in one direction. One one side of the knockout bracket resides the world’s No. 1 ranked team (Belgium), the reigning World Cup (France) and European (Portugal) champions and the side that has appeared to be the most in-form one in the competition through the group phase (Italy). On the other side, outside of the England-Germany matchup in the last 16, things appear to be wide open.

It’s not too dissimilar to the last Euros or World Cup, which resulted in less-traditionally-successful nations like Croatia and Portugal reaching the finals.

The knockout bracket for the 2020 European Championship

There will be a couple of days off before the round of 16 begins on Saturday. Here are the matchups, times and locations for those eight matchups—and the quarterfinals—as the road to lift the trophy at Wembley Stadium continues!