England 2-0 Ukraine
It’s not arrogant to say that England might never get a better chance of reaching a major final.
Take the emotion out of things and base your predictions purely on your footballing knowledge, England should be beating Ukraine as well as winning at Wembley against either Denmark or the Czech Republic.
Even the small details went our way on Tuesday with Ukraine forced to play extra time in a physical and bruising encounter.
Southgate has shown he’s not scared to rotate in certain positions. Shevchenko might feel he hasn’t got the quality in his squad to do so.
He has technically gifted talent who can produce a moment of magic from nothing, but will they have enough possession to threaten often?
England’s biggest threat is themselves.
They are not good enough to take anything for granted so must show up with the correct attitude. France showed what can happen if your mentality is not right.
Our (if you’re English) manager’s strength has been for years implementing a decent atmosphere within the group. It’s the one area I have faith in him. I’d be amazed if, with what’s at stake, we showed complacency.
I still don’t think fans will get the entertaining style of play they want, but you can’t complain if the team are getting results.
Apart from the draw with Scotland I feel the three Lions have controlled all of their fixtures at these Championships. I can see a professional win which might not be a great watch, but in knock out football only thing that matters is the win.
I can’t see there being a point in the game where we are in any serious danger of elimination.
Denmark 2-1 Czech Republic
Not sure how many fans can get to Baku, which could be crucial given no team has benefitted from home advantage more than Denmark.
I’m including the last round because Welsh fans were banned from travelling to Holland.
Many Danes have convinced themselves this is a fairy tale. If it were a movie it would start with the scenes of Christian Eriksen needing CPR on the pitch and end with them in a Final.
In reality they were very fortunate to qualify out of their group with only three points, yet if their players have convinced themselves destiny is on their side then their manager will use that if it helps self-belief.
I think their manager deserves credit for adopting a shoot on sight policy and encouraging some flair.
Pre-tournament the media is his home country were critical of him going against a more traditional conservative style of play.