If the round of 16 was a sign of things to come, footy fans will be in for a treat during the Euro 2020 quarterfinals.
Upsets, drama and goals galore made the last-16 one of the more gripping knockout stages at a major tournament in recent memory.
So how do the survivors stack up?
Ahead of the quarterfinal matchups on Friday and Saturday, we’ve ranked the eight remaining teams at Euro 2020.
Quarterfinal opponent: Belgium
Round of 16 result: 2-1 vs. Austria (ET)
Pre-tournament FIFA ranking: No. 7
Odds to win Euro 2020: +375
The Italians were tested by Austria in the round of 16 and eventually passed thanks to a pair of extra-time goals from substitutes Fredrico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina. Sure, the Azzurri’s shutout streak is over but this squad has the defensive capability, attacking know-how and depth to reach the final in the tougher side of the bracket.
Quarterfinal opponent: Ukraine
Round of 16 result: 2-0 vs. Germany
Pre-tournament FIFA ranking: No. 4
Odds to win Euro 2020: +200
With the German monkey off their back, Gareth Southgate’s England enters the quarterfinals as the new favourites to win Euro 2020 and have arguably the most favourable last-eight draw against Ukraine. The Three Lions are stout, having yet to allow a goal in the tournament, and while Southgate’s starting XIs tend to lean on the conservative side, England has the attack-minded subs who can make a real difference – Jack Grealish did just that Tuesday against Germany.
Quarterfinal opponent: Switzerland
Round of 16 result: 5-3 vs. Croatia (ET)
Pre-tournament FIFA ranking: No. 6
Odds to win Euro 2020: +320
After managing just a single goal in the first two group stage games, Spain has found the back of the net five times in each of their last two matches and look like a serious threat for the trophy. Questions will be asked of the defence heading into Friday’s quarterfinal against Switzerland after coughing up a 3-1 lead to Croatia in the round of 16, but Spain’s attacking prowess is undeniable.
Quarterfinal opponent: Italy
Round of 16 result: 1-0 vs. Portugal
Pre-tournament FIFA ranking: No. 1
Odds to win Euro 2020: +650
Belgium’s wealth of star power is what makes them hard to pick against in tournaments like these but they’ll likely be without both Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard for their tough last-eight match against the Italians. Those absences, especially De Bruyne’s, may be too much to overcome. Romelu Lukaku will need to steal the show for the Belgians to survive.
Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku, second from right, celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal during the Euro 2020 group B match between Belgium and Russia at the Saint Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Anatoly Maltsev/Pool via AP)
Quarterfinal opponent: Czech Republic
Round of 16 result: 4-0 vs. Wales
Pre-tournament FIFA ranking: No. 10
Odds to win Euro 2020: +1000
Denmark is more than just a good story – overcoming the horrific collapse of Christian Eriksen in their first match to reach the last eight – it’s a quality squad with a serious chance of making the semifinals. The Danes picked apart Wales with precision in the last round and have scored eight goals in their last two matches combined.
Quarterfinal opponent: Spain
Round of 16 result: 3-3 vs. France (Advanced 5-4 on penalties)
Pre-tournament FIFA ranking: No. 13
Odds to win Euro 2020: +2500
The Swiss overcame the defending world champions in the round of 16 and head into Friday’s match against Spain as the quarterfinals’ second-biggest underdogs. But underestimate Switzerland at your own peril, as Vladimir Petković’s team is playing well all over the field – from Yan Sommer in net to Granit Xhaka in midfield to Haris Seferović up front.
7) Czech Republic
Quarterfinal opponent: Denmark
Round of 16 result: 2-0 vs. Netherlands
Pre-tournament FIFA ranking: No. 40
Odds to win Euro 2020: +3000
The lowest ranked squad still alive at Euro 2020, the Czechs have proven a difficult side to break down: through four matches, they’ve allowed just two goals. They may not be the most electrifying side to watch but a little more magic from Patrik Schick combined with more of the same defensive stability, and the Czech Republic reaching their first Euro semifinal since 2004 isn’t that hard to imagine.
Quarterfinal opponent: England
Round of 16 result: 2-1 vs. Sweden (ET)
Pre-tournament FIFA ranking: No. 24
Odds to win Euro 2020: +2800
The biggest underdogs of the last eight, Andriy Shevchenko’s side emerge from a punishing extra-time victory over Sweden to face the only team at Euro 2020 that has yet to concede a goal in Gareth Southgate’s England. Ukraine has shown offensive flair in flashes during the tournament and will need plenty of it on Saturday to shock the Three Lions.