Euro 2024 quarter-finals preview: Ronaldo faces Mbappe as England meet Switzerland – Tips and Tricks

This article is part of our ‘Tips and Tricks’ series, where we use data and know-how to identify trends and insights for Euro 2024. You can find all the articles in the series here.

England are hanging in there and head to Dusseldorf on Saturday to face Switzerland with a place in the last four at stake. Will they click or is another nervy night in store?

Elsewhere, Spain against Germany could be a cracker, while either Cristiano Ronaldo or Kylian Mbappe will be heading home.

Here, we look at the data to get a better idea of who will be taking one step closer to the trophy…

Slick Swiss look dangerous

Having gone from the brink of a last-16 exit to reclaiming their place at the head of the outright betting, favourites England face in-form Switzerland for a place in the semi-finals.

Twenty-four hours before Gareth Southgate’s great escape against Slovakia, the Swiss were underdogs in their clash with Italy but looked anything but as they outplayed their opponents in every department, with Remo Freuler and Ruben Vargas scoring to end the holders’ defence of the trophy.

Murat Yakin’s side had more shots, more attempts on target, more attacks and better passing accuracy. and just like in the group stage, their best work was carried out down the left.

With Ricardo Rodriguez getting forward from the back and Michel Aebischer and Vargas looking lively, England right-back Kyle Walker and co can expect a tough time.

Switzerland's attacking threat comes down the left

Elsewhere, Freuler and Aebischer each have a goal and a pair of assists, while Switzerland’s seven tournament strikes have come from seven different scorers.

No such riches for England. They’ve reached the last eight, but the causes for concern are piling up, as Jack Pitt-Brooke and Jacob Whitehead discussed on The Athletic FC podcast earlier this week.

Southgate has watched two players score his side’s four goals, with Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham grabbing two each. But clear-cut chances have been few and far between and while England captain Kane leads the scorer markets, Vargas offers better value. A Swiss win also appeals.

Toughest test yet for hosts Germany

On current form, this would have been a fitting final and it will be a shame to lose one of the two best teams in the tournament.

Hosts Germany are the competition’s highest scorers (10), while Spain boast the tightest defence having conceded just one goal, against Georgia — an own goal by Robin Le Normand — in their four matches.

Germany's creative threat comes from multiple angles

Spain’s impressive run has propelled them to second behind England in the outright betting and they are favourites in Stuttgart on Friday evening.

Youngsters Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal have been key to the Spanish surge, while Rodri kickstarted the comeback after they fell behind against the Georgians in the last 16.

That Georgia goal will have given Germany some hope that Spain can be hurt on the counter and, as outlined by Liam Tharme, only the tournament hosts (17) had more direct attacks in the group stages than the Georgians.

Spain are dangerous from cutbacks

Jamal Musiala has been talked up in The Athletic articles already and has fired his way to the top of the scoring charts, but Germany can threaten from all over the pitch (see graphic), while at the other end, Antonio Rudiger impressed against Denmark.

With home advantage, it’s hard to back against Germany and them to win with both teams scoring is the pick.

Can Ronaldo break his duck?

France and Portugal were always expected to get at least this far, but few would have bet on them reaching the last eight with Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo having just one goal between them.

Mbappe, favourite for the Golden Boot before a ball was kicked, opened his account with a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Poland, but there has been no hint of a goal rush from Didier Deschamps’ side and no Frenchman has scored from open play. Own goals saw off Austria and Belgium, while the eagerly anticipated group game with the Netherlands ended goalless.

As for Portugal, they looked good against the Czech Republic and Turkey, but a much-changed side lost to Georgia before goalkeeper Diogo Costa stole the headlines from Ronaldo in the last-16 win over Slovenia.

cristiano ronaldo 2024 all shots slovenia 1

Costa’s three penalty shootout saves sent the Portuguese through after a 0-0 draw in 120 minutes of play, but Ronaldo in tears after missing a spot kick in extra time was the main image on the back pages.

The Portuguese have not scored in 244 minutes, and with the French not quite firing and Costa looking solid, it would make sense to go low on goals in Hamburg.

At longer odds, consider Portugal on penalties.

Dutch discovering their rhythm

The Netherlands and Turkey claimed the last two quarter-final spots and Berlin should be bouncing when they go head to head on Saturday.

The colourful Dutch fans finally got to see their side click into gear as they eased past Romania while Turkish celebrations could be heard across Germany after they edged out Austria 2-1 to reach the last eight for the first time in 16 years.

The Turks weathered the storm in rainy Leipzig as the Austrians threw everything at them in search of an equaliser in the last half hour and Vincenzo Montella’s men could be in for more of the same in the German capital.

Cody Gakpo

The Netherlands won 3-0 against Romania but they were all over their opponents after Cody Gakpo’s 20th-minute opener, had 24 attempts at goal and 66 attacks.
Gakpo was everywhere, he claimed an assist for one of Donyell Malen’s two goals and on this form is the man Turkey have to stop. He stands out in all scorer markets.

The Netherlands go into this one as big favourites, so with Switzerland or England up next for the winner, Ronald Koeman’s side to reach the final is a more attractive option.

The Tips and Tricks series is part of a partnership with Betfair. The Athletic maintains full editorial independence. Partners have no control over or input into the reporting or editing process and do not review stories before publication.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top