FRIDAY, JUNE 22: We have witnessed the highest scoring European championships ever.
Great entertainment with amazing matches, a few shocks, late minute turnarounds, fantastic individual displays as well as some dramatic and dodgy refereeing decisions to get the blood pressure skyrocketing.
Some of the big teams have left already and both hosts are out.
Holland somehow managed to get to the World Cup final two years ago and have departed this tournament with their tails tucked between their legs with a mere two goals and no points from three games.
Russia, Ukraine, Denmark and Croatia all won their first group games and have also been sent home. There are more shocks to come and some bigger names to pack their bags after this weekend — who will it be?
Germany v Greece
Friday at 3:45pm
The Greeks have somehow managed to survive the group stages.
It is interesting that if this tournament had FIFA World Cup rules in place it would actually be Russia that would have progressed to the quarter-finals!
However, I wouldn’t want to take any credit away from the Greeks, who showcased amazing defensive qualities, teamwork and determination.
Do not be mistaken, Germany will throw everything they have at them and most likely come out with a hard fought win.
They are still my favourites to win the whole competition with an all around strong team, stars everywhere (even on the bench), their confidence is flowing. The German’s have yet to trail in any game, so Greece will probably go for the smash and grab approach!
Spain v France
Saturday at 3:45pm
France have had their ups and downs already, side-stepping the co-hosts Ukraine and then relying on other results as they lost to an already eliminated Sweden.
Their ‘stars’ aren’t shining and Benzema is goalless so far. They look dangerous going forward but not the strong team I expected to see. If they get through this one, watch their darkhorse odds drop massively.
Spain are by far not at their peak but seven points in the group is nothing to sniff at.
Their lack of an in-form striker is noticeable but the flare from midfield is jaw dropping to watch at times.
Spain could play mediocre and still progress here. This is going to be tight!
England v Italy
Sunday at 3:45pm
These two sides will be cautious as neither have been outstanding.
England will feel better about their performances and relatively positive with good all round team spirit now that they have advanced.
What they have is Rooney back, a bit of luck going their way, their supporters on their good side for a change and Italy is no Spain!
Wingers have been (and will continue to be) key. They have Walcott and Oxi coming off the bench with pace, Young haunting defenders from the left and Welbeck playing off him.
Gerrard has had a decent run of games and will need to keep up the pace against the big teams to inspire his fellow players.
Parker and Milner will need to be on the heels of Pirlo for the whole game as he doesn’t need much space to make something special happen.
I don’t know where he bought his boots but they are magic! They are a threat up front but no more than England.
This will be a very tight affair and with no love lost here.
Prediction 1-1 and extra time
Jamie Macmillan is co-owner of www.moongateproductions.com.
Portugal beat the Czech Republic 1-0 on a strike by Ronaldo on Thursday.