After a decent start, the last couple of days at Euro 2016 have been a bit drab. Ever since Germany and Poland had the first 0-0 of the tournament on Thursday night we’ve had a couple of routine qualifications but not much else. They have the chance to fix that on Tuesday though as Groups C and D head to interesting conclusions.
We know that Germany and Poland are practically through. Northern Ireland could have enough in third but if they can beat the Germans they’ll secure an automatic spot. Ukraine have an outside chance but they need to beat Poland and hope for a hammering in the other game. So with a double gameday, we’ve picked our four best tips to score.
Mesut Ozil, Germany vs Northern Ireland – 5pm in Paris
No German player has really stood out from the crowd in terms of goal scoring yet. We all expected Thomas Muller to have grabbed at least one at this stage but not to be. So we’ve stopped tipping him and instead gone for Mesut Ozil. We know he’s fantastic at pinging the ball round the pitch – an 88% accuracy against Poland testifies that. But it was when he was played through the middle against the Poles that Ozil looked most dangerous.
Football hipsters will point to his record assists tally which he added to in the first game against Ukraine. But you kind of forget that Ozil’s scoring record for a midfielder isn’t that bad, particularly for his country. He’s got 19 goals in 75 appearances for the DFB, which is a goal every four games.
Up against a Northern Ireland team which will be sure to have more than nine men behind the ball at all stages. Of course, they could go gung ho, but they’ve no real need to. We’re going for the 27 year old at, safe in the knowledge that there may be more than one scorer.
Robert Lewandowski – Poland vs Ukraine – 5pm in Marseille
30 goals in the Bundesliga. 13 goals in 10 games during qualifying. How has Robert Lewandowski not scored at the Euros yet?! Well, mainly due to the Polish not really building up the play as well as they build up walls, but with qualification on the line, you expect their talisman to step up to the plate.
Maybe he was just warming up. He didn’t have a shot against Northern Ireland in the first game and both of his efforts against Germany were blocked off. Poland can’t really afford to rest him in the off chance that Northern Ireland grab something against the Germans and sneak second. Lewandowski’s shot accuracy was one of the highest in the top five European leagues. He’ll show that at some stage for his country. We think it’ll be against their co-hosts from Euro 2012 on Tuesday night at odds of.
Alvaro Morata – Croatia vs Spain – 8pm in Bordeaux
Spain know that regardless of result, they are guaranteed a top three finish in Group D and thus a last 16 spot. They’ve had a solid and spectacular start to the Euros, wearing down the Czech Republic before dismantling Turkey, mainly down to the genius of Iniesta in the middle. We would say he’s rolling back the years, but he’s never had a down period so we’ll just say he’s rolling.
Croatia can still grab top spot from the Spanish so we don’t expect Vicente Del Bosque to put out a ‘weak’ team. Do Spain even have a weak team? Alvaro Morata grabbed a brace against Turkey and four of his five shots were on target to back up an 81% pass accuracy. If he’s fed the same kind of ball as he was against the Turks, he’s sure to net at odds of.