UEFA EURO 2024 Knockouts: Where Dreams and Drama Collide

As the Group stages come to an emphatic end with last-minute winners, stalemate draws, and underdog victories - all eyes will now turn to the knockout stages of European continental football’s premier tournament. With 16 teams vying for the trophy in the knockout stages, parallel storylines are being written every minute of the 90 being played on the grass. In a tournament of no clear favourites’ & underdogs that consistently punch above their weight, is this the most unpredictable UEFA Euro in recent history? 

No Guaranteed Victories: Every Game Carries the Hopes of A Nation

If the 2024 edition of the UEFA Euro has taught us one thing, It is to expect the unexpected; star-studded lineups will not guarantee victories, and a more deficient European pedigree does not mean much either.

Unbeaten in the competition, both tournament favourites’ England & France boast some of the biggest names in world football on their roster, however, their recent performances dismiss the idea of an evident tournament favourite, with lacklustre victories & stalemates to lower-ranked opposition. With Germany, Spain, Denmark, and Slovenia, forming the rest of the 100% club, cautious confidence must be applied when picking favourites at this edition of the championship, with no nation proving their pedigree without a shadow of a doubt.

From the Swiss showing their grit against the Germans to book a spot against the Italians to Austria pulling an ace against the Dutch to top Group D ahead of France. The tournament has already shown us why no guarantees can be made – Just ask the Georgians who celebrated their nation’s most historic night after pulling of a 2-0 upset over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal to welcome themselves into the Round of 16.

Can We Expect Anything? Yes, The Football Keeps Getting Better!

With the three matches in the six groups now fully played, twelve teams will now progress forward as the winner & runner-up of the group for the knockout stages of the championship. Joining them will also be the three more teams, namely, Netherlands, Slovakia, and Slovenia who have confirmed their progress by being the ‘best third-placed teams’ on account of points & goal difference. As we get ever closer to crowing the UEFA EURO 2024 winner, let’s look at what awaits us. 

Switzerland vs Italy will be the first match played in the knockout stages. The Azzurri who will be in high spirits after their stoppage-time winner against Croatia, will come across a well-drilled Switzerland side with an abundance of confidence having gone toe–to–toe against serial winners Germany. More than a football game, this knockout match could very well be a chess game, with victory over the other dictated from the sidelines.

Germany vs Denmark is up next in the Round of 16, with the odds favouring the host nation, Germany. With Denmark making a name for themselves in recent championships, it is important to note that without Niclas Füllkrug’s late heroics against the Swiss, the Germans would have been in a world of trouble in front of their home fans. 

England vs Slovakia is slotted as the third game of the Round of 16 and could prove to be an entertaining knockout match unless ‘The Three Lions’ muster attacking inspiration. Not to be underestimated as proven by their group stage win against the Belgium’s, England must be careful. Boasting a team with the best players from the English Premier League, LALIGA and the Bundesliga, will not mean much if Southgate cannot get the team to tick together. 

Spain vs Georgia is a fixture you might give the edge to Spain, but if favourites are being picked then handicapping Georgia would be a foolish decision. After Kvaratskhelia introduced himself on the European stage against Portugal, it is likely that the Spanish have already received their warning. With Morata leading the new look Spain outfit, he will be called to rise to the occasion once again, in his quest to become the EURO’s top goal scorer. 

France vs Belgium is poised to be one of the ‘one to watch’ fixtures for the Round of 16. With the depleting golden generation of Belgium and the masked Real Madrid bound striker leading the line for the French, it is a fixture to tune in to. Boasting a wealth of talent on the pitch and the bench, France will once again attempt to dominate world football once again.

Portugal vs Slovenia already has some build up to it after Cristiano Ronaldo and Co’s shocking defeat against Georgia. Will Portugal come back with a befitting reply against the haters? Will the ‘GOAT’ once again drive his nation forward? There is only one way to find out. 

Ronaldo still hasnt scored this year’s Euro yet. If he manages to get a goal he will create a record of scoring in 6 consecutive Euros, that’s 24 years. 

Romania vs Netherlands will place the marginal winners of Group E, against La Oranje who qualified by being one of the best third place teams in the group stage. It would be interesting to watch how the Romanians line up against Dutch who boasts the likes of Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay. A country known for it’s depth of talent over the years but unable to win when it matters, is this a moment for Romania’s biggest nights in football?

Austria vs Türkiye is up there as a the most exciting fixture in the round, with both the team promoting a fast paced and intense brand of football so far. With Marcel Sabitzer hitting the ‘Cold’ Palmer celebration and Arda Guler giving us a goal of the tournament contender, this match up will keep you on the edge of your seat for the full 90 minutes + extra time?

The Round of 16 promises to be brutal with its exciting fixtures. It will ensure moments of celebrations as well as heartbreak for fans all over the world. Just one match decides the fate of an entire nation participating in this prestigious tournament. Discover the thrilling outcome of the Round of 16 Knockout stages LIVE on Sony LIV, available in 6 different languages including features such as LIVE Stats & Star Cams.

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