Liverpool duo prepare for the biggest game of their careers

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Two days without action at Euro 2020 – are you missing it and ready to dive back in to another series of games?!

The knockout phase starts today at the tournament and, with the round of 16, so too rises the tension and excitement in every single game.

They look, by and large, well-matched throughout and tough to call in many cases – one side of the draw has more stronger nations, perhaps, but the initial round of 16 ties look fairly even.

It all starts with two neutrals’ favourites, the next chapter of the biggest storyline from the group stage and a couple of Reds hoping to feature on the biggest stage they’ve been part of so far.

 

Group stage talking points

  • Group F provided so much drama, changing orders and back-and-forth scorelines on the final night that it made a mockery of anyone fearing the threat of failure had been removed with three nations progressing
  • Cristiano Ronaldo ended the first three games with five goals and an assist to fly clear in the Golden Boot standings – as well as match the all-time men’s international goalscoring record
  • Liverpool saw all but one of their players at the finals progress to the knockouts, Andy Robertson‘s Scotland failing to do so

 

Today’s fixtures

  • Wales vs Denmark, round of 16, 5pm on BBC One
  • Italy vs Austria, round of 16, 8pm on BBC One

 

Expectations on…

ROME, ITALY - JUNE 20: Italy's Jorge Luiz Frello Filho 'Jorginho' (C) during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group A match between Italy and Wales at Olimpico Stadium on June 20, 2021 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Chris Ricco - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Italy – the whole team. Roberto Mancini will likely revert to his team from the second group game, with Marco Verratti being one of two possible exceptions. The other is dependent on Giorgio Chiellini’s fitness.

There’s a huge weight of expectation now on the Azzurri to not just keep winning, but to keep playing well and keep being free-scoring after arguably being the most fluid and impressive side in the group phase.

The games will be tougher now but they should have more than enough to progress here.

 

Key battle to watch

Clash of the not-too-subtle titans in one penalty box: Kieffer Moore of Wales against Simon Kjaer of Denmark.

It sounds like a one-way battle when presented at face value: Danish captain, over 100 caps, Milan defender…vs journeyman Cardiff forward, only 20 caps even now and never played in the top flight – outside of a stint in Norway, at least.

But they could be surprisingly well-matched in several duels, with Moore’s physicality and work rate being key to get Wales up the field and able to test Kasper Schmeichel.

 

Fans are talking about…

The Euro 2020 star they want Liverpool to sign this summer!




 

Reds in action

Neco Williams could get the nod for Wales if they stick with a back three system, otherwise both he and Harry Wilson will be hoping for an appearance off the bench in all likelihood.

 

Predictions

Denmark and Wales to go to extra time, pick your own winner in the end! And Italy to see off Austria in impressive fashion.

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