Euro 2016: Last-16 predictions with Spain shock and England goalfest

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The knockout stage of Euro 2016 gets underway on Saturday afternoon, and there are some intriguing ties to look forward to in the last-16.

From Italy’s heavyweight clash with Spain to hosts France taking on the Republic of Ireland, there promises to be plenty of drama and entertainment.

Here are the predictions for the last-16 clashes:

Switzerland 0-2 Poland

Switzerland struggled for goals in the group stage, and expect that continue against a well-organised Polish side. Robert Lewandowski has got to find his form sooner rather than later, hasn’t he?

Wales 2-1 Northern Ireland

Gareth Bale already has three goals at Euro 2016, back him and the quality that the Welsh possess in midfield to make the difference in a close game.

Croatia 3-1 Portugal

Croatia are living up to their tag of being dark horses so far, and back that to continue against a leaky Portuguese defence, even if Cristiano Ronaldo is now on the goalscoring trail.

France 3-0 Republic of Ireland

Ireland helped spark the tournament into life last time out against Italy, but this is the end of the road for them against the hosts who will finally put away their chances.

Germany 2-0 Slovakia

Slovakia are more than capable of frustrating the Germans, who will need to finish their chances, unlike against Northern Ireland last time out. However, the world champions will have enough to get the job done efficiently.

Hungary 0-2 Belgium

With Romelu Lukaku scoring and the confidence returning in the team after the defeat to Italy, back the Belgians to march on in their favourable draw.

Italy 1-0 Spain

As proven against the Belgians, against the right style of team, Italy can cause an upset. They struggled in their next two games as the onus was on them to go out and win the game. In this one, they’ll sit back, soak up the pressure and hit Spain on the counter-attack. The holders are not invincible, as proven by Croatia.

England 3-0 Iceland

England have played well in this tournament so far, but they simply haven’t taken their opportunities. Expect that to change against a stubborn Iceland side, who will concede relatively early and will be unable to mount a comeback.