Are we all sitting comfortably? The pizza’s ordered, the two day rest has done us all good and now we’re onto the proper stuff. Three matches, two home nations and one big day of last 16 action at the Euros.
Get the gardening done then sit back and feast on Switzerland and Poland at 2pm. Did anyone expect the headliner on Saturday in Paris to be Wales vs Northern Ireland? Apart from Jim McDonald of course. Then it all wraps up with Croatia vs Portugal at eight. C’est manifique.
Once again, we’ve done the work for you and tipped up three anytime goalscorer’s for Saturday’s action.
Arkaduisz Milik vs Switzerland at 2pm
Poland were clinical, if not a little boring, in the group stages. A pair of 1-0 victories over Northern Ireland and the Ukraine were enough to send them through to their first ever last 16 at the Euros. Milik got one goal and one assist. Kuba got the other goal and assist.
Despite Robert Lewandowski breaking all kinds of record in the qualifying stages, he’s flopped worse than Batman vs Superman. The focus on big Rob has allowed Milik to go about his business under the radar of sorts. He’s had 10 shots, scored twice and had five on target.
The Swiss have been weak down the left hand side. Ricardo Rodriguez has had to make more tackles than any other Swiss player and they’ve faced on average 10 shots per match.
Polish Milik > Swiss Cheese. Milik to score at odds of.
Gareth Bale vs Northern Ireland at 5pm
Yes. Yes, we’re a broken record. We know that. We don’t necessarily care though. Bale’s the top scorer at the championship so far alongside Alvaro Morata. He’s had the most shots on target of any player so far (11), has a 78% pass completion percentage, and comfortably the strongest jawline of the entire tournament.
Jokes aside, Bale will be coming up against Michael McGovern, who with 16 saves was the second best keeper in the groups. Germany battered the Northern Irish defence and only managed to squeeze out one goal. Germany have eight or nine world class players. Wales have two – Bale and Simon Church. But Church hasn’t been unleashed yet.
Bale’s dealt with tougher defences in La Liga than he’ll come up against on Saturday. Four in four looks good to us at odds of
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Croatia at 8pm
The spotlight was on Portugal and it was on Cristiano Ronaldo. Particularly after he chucked a reporter’s microphone into a nearby lake for the bantz. Ronaldo’s lost it they said, he’s not focused at all.
But like he always does, CR7 came up with the goods and showed off his abs afterwards. He scores goals at European Championship (two in 2004, one in 2008 and three in 2012) and he opened his account for 2016 with a brace in the ridiculously entertaining 3-3 draw with Hungary on Wednesday afternoon.
It wasn’t for the want of trying. Ronnie leads the table for shots off target with 13. Portugal are averaging an incredible 23 shots per game. Ronaldo’s broke his duck and the spotlight is still on him. It’s when he loves to show off just why he’s the best player in Europe. He’s to score anytime.