Two Liverpool players’ Euro 2020 adventures are guaranteed to continue into the last 16 – and another one has strong hopes of doing so.
Wales have a new group of national heroes after guaranteeing themselves a knock-out phase place along with Italy, and the fun (or epic tension, depending on your position) continues for most of this week.
Groups B and C will be played out to their conclusion on Monday, with more potential permutations in the former than the average number of Liverpool centre-back partnerships.
Two nations at the very least will end their summer journey tonight; whether it’s more than that depends on scorelines, Uefa criteria and vague predictions of what’s to come this week.
Day 10 talking points
- Switzerland finally came to life to produce a 3-1 blitzing of Turkey, with our man Xherdan Shaqiri playing the usual role of hero for his nation. They should have enough to go through but the negative goal difference could be an issue
- Italy keep their 100 per cent record intact and have now not conceded a goal in 11 straight matches…all of which have been wins. Should they be the big favourites now?
- Neco Williams made his first major international tournament start and Harry Wilson got another sub appearance under his belt as Liverpool’s starlets helped Wales through in second
- Ukraine vs Austria, Group C, 5pm on ITV 4
- North Macedonia vs Netherlands, Group C, 5pm on ITV
- Russia vs Denmark, Group B, 8pm on BBC Two
- Finland vs Belgium, Group B, 8pm on BBC One
- Uruguay vs Chile, Copa America, 10pm on BBC iPlayer
Yussuf Poulsen – or Yurary for the Danes among us. Denmark badly need a hero and the RB Leipzig forward scored one against Belgium; now he has to drag the team forward once more and try to help see them past Russia.
It’s clear that with Eriksen now on the mend, the whole squad is fighting for him and to overcome their collective shock and loss – sporting rather than human, thankfully – and Group B is insanely tight.
There is absolutely the potential for a three-way head-to-head battle at full-time, with a 1-0 win for Denmark the first requirement and a Belgium win over Finland the other. Denmark, Russia and Finland would all then have three points and 1-0 wins over each other in the head-to-head-to-head comparisons.
After that it’s down to overall group goal difference, goals scored and if needed, disciplinary points and even Uefa qualifying ranking.
If two teams are level on head-to-head and group performance and playing each other on the final round of matches, we could even get a penalty shoot-out!
Key battle to watch
Ukraine vs Austria is basically a play-off in its own right. The Dutch will be expected to see off North Macedonia, leaving them top, so it’s winner takes all in the other game for second place.
A draw will see Ukraine remain second, so there’s slightly more emphasis on David Alaba and Co to produce the goods – and where he plays in particular will be key.
The biggest direct confrontation will be at the heart of midfield, where the impressive Xaver Schlager will be up against Oleksandr Zinchenko’s runs from central. Both have had good starts to the tournament – both will be vital to their nations’ hopes of having longer tournaments.
Fans are talking about…
Xherdan Shaqiri! If Switzerland score a goal, there’s a high probability our man is involved. Should we see him more at Anfield, or should we finally let him go?! Fans think a little of both after a reminder of his talent and his goalscoring touch on the international scene.
Two more in their 3-1 win over Turkey yesterday…including an absolute scorcher.
In fact, Shaq’s second was an absolutely fantastic, first-time finish into the top corner – and it barely registered on the Twitter-o-meter because his first was so incredible!
Shaqiri goal with his weak foot pic.twitter.com/SQhhp6WgXj
— ? (@TheImmortalKop) June 20, 2021
— Aniket (@SweeperKeeperMN) June 20, 2021
Only Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, Ivan Perisic and Xherdan Shaqiri have scored in all of the 2014 and 2018 World Cups and Euro 2016 and 2020.
— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) June 20, 2021
Happy for Xherdan Shaqiri scoring, such an underrated player. ?? pic.twitter.com/ZItjLwYxHU
— Samue (@SamueILFC) June 20, 2021
First LiverpooI player to win the POTM award in the Euro. Xherdan Shaqiri ?? pic.twitter.com/4mVCL3vuyY
— • (@The_Gerrard_Era) June 20, 2021
International tournament Shaqiri is top 10 on the planet
— Chiddy ?? (@chiddyafc) June 20, 2021
Unpopular opinion: Klopp didn’t use Sturridge & Shaqiri enough. Immense talents. But I think it was because of their work off-the-ball
— Raj Chohan (@rajsinghchohan) June 20, 2021
Xherdan Shaqiri scoring bangers at major tournaments pic.twitter.com/EZsnXU7vGH
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) June 20, 2021
Xherdan Shaqiri with a worldie, is it? pic.twitter.com/isNLmPMXj5
— John O'Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) June 20, 2021
Reds in action
Nothing. Nobody. Unless you’re still pining for Wijnaldum, of course…he captains the Dutch at 5.
Netherlands win, Ukraine to edge Austria and take second, Belgium beat Finland and Denmark to beat Russia. Don’t ask us to predict the calculations of who goes through!