Euro 2016: Top 5 Games to Watch (Gameweek 2)
With England inevitably losing their seemingly comfortable lead late on, it’s now time to look forward rather than back to the second round of fixtures at EURO2016. While we’re still going to have the radio and iPlayer on the go all tournament (especially at work), we appreciate that not everyone has the time or inclination to watch every single minute of the month-long tournament.
So to help we’re compiling a list of the top 5 matches every Gameweek during the group stages, so you know what not to miss. You can assume the England v Wales game tops our list this Thursday (and for that we’ve given you tips on how to skive work successfully) but here’s the best of the rest for Gameweek 2: Wednesday 15th June – Saturday 18th June.
Russia v Slovakia – Wednesday 15th June 14:00 – BBC
We all saw it coming, didn’t we? England play well against a fairly limited Russian side only to not take their chances and concede from a hopeful lob into the area with virtually the last kick of the game. While all is far from lost for England, we may be relying on other results should Wales get something out of the game Thursday. That makes the Russia – Slovakia game on Wednesday more important than we’d hope and ultimately a must watch. A draw would do nicely for both British sides.
Ukraine v Northern Ireland – Thursday 16th June 17:00 – ITV
If there’s one day this Euros you need to be booking off, it’s Thursday 16th June. England v Wales kicks things off in gigantic style at 2pm and the two games after should be interesting to say the least too – so you may as well make a day of it! Northern Ireland did well enough against Poland in Gameweek 1 but there’ll need a bigger effort against a solid Ukraine side to get the win they desperately need. Will Grigg. Fire.
Germany v Poland – Thursday 16th June 20:00 – ITV
We may as well just call it ‘Super Thursday’. Finishing things off (if you can still stand by this point) will be Germany v Poland. The two teams are no strangers to each other having been drawn in the same group in World Cup 2006, Euro 2008 and also in the qualifying for Euro 2016. Germany won the previous meeting fairly comfortably almost a year ago but Poland did win their home tie in qualifying and also arguably have the best centre forward in the Euros with Robert Lewandowski, so we think things maybe tighter here than expected.
Italy v Sweden – Friday 17th June 14:00 – ITV
We promise in our Gameweek 3 instalment we’ll just ignore Group E. Even after a win for Italy, the ‘Group of Death’ could still go any way with every side capable of beating the other. Italy did, however, look strong against the Belgians and have probably the only top manager in the tournament. We think that should see them out this group fairly comfortably. As with every game, though, this is a must not lose for both sides.
Belgium v Rep of Ireland – Saturday 18th June 14:00 – ITV
And finally the other game from Group E. Belgium were seriously disappointing against Italy who outclassed them in every department. Question marks have been raised about Marc Wilmot’s ability to blend one of the most talented group of players in the Euros, and you’d have to think this is a must win game against an Irish side who looked on top for much of the Sweden game. We can’t wait!