One full week of Euro 2016 is almost over, and the teams to take the field on day 7 include England and Wales in a British derby, Ukraine facing Northern Ireland in a win-or-go-home match, while Germany and Poland can both clinch a spot in the quarter finals if they win their encounter.
England vs Wales: Most of the talk in the days leading up to the match has been trash talk from Gareth Bale and the response from the English team. But what matters is football. Wales, with their win in the opening match, have more than just the rivalry aspect to think about: A win and they’re in the next round. They’re much more relaxed, knowing they can afford a draw. For England, not winning could be very bothersome. Keeping tabs on Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Hal-Robson Kanu is their mission defensively. It’ll be interesting to see if Jamie Vardy is finally featured, or will Roy Hodgson stick to what worked for most of the match against Russia.
Ukraine vs Northern Ireland: Both teams have 0 points, but Ukraine at least showed moments of interesting football in their loss to Germany. Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka make quite the difficult duo to keep up with, and their ability to stretch the pitch could make it difficult for Northern Ireland to keep their bus parked efficiently. We would love to see something from Northern Ireland that doesn’t involve set pieces and crossing to Kyle Lafferty. Will Grigg should make an appearance this time, if only for the stadium to come alive with the coolest fan song of Euro 2016, but also to try something different after not mustering a single shot at goal in the loss to Poland.
Germany vs Poland: Setting aside Joachim Low and his scratch & sniff antics that had everyone hot & bothered, Germany and Poland are just rivals with political and historic beefs to settle outside the football pitch; they could give us the best match of the tournament so far. Poland’s pace could make them very dangerous against Germany on the counter, while the Germans will need to find a way and stifle Robert Lewandowski, who’ll enjoy more freedom than in the win against Northern Ireland. However, Poland will have their hands full with Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller, which will make it difficult for wing backs Artur Jędrzejczyk and Łukasz Piszczek to support the attack.