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Euro 2024 Football News

UEFA Euro 2024 Round of 16 || France v Belgium | Portugal v Slovenia || Match Previews | Predictions | Fantasy XIs

Rahul Naresh Rahul Naresh

With the Round of 16 of UEFA Euro 2024 underway, Day 17 will give us two more thrilling knockout fixtures: the first between France and Belgium, both of whom have been rather underwhelming so far, while the second will see Portugal take on Slovenia.

Euro 2024 Round of 16 | France v Belgium | 9:30 pm IST | July 1

France were underwhelming in the group stage, finishing second behind Austria and only a point above the Netherlands. Even with Kylian Mbappé back in the starting lineup, Les Bleus only managed a 1-1 draw in their final group match against Poland. 

Meanwhile, Belgium also weren’t sure of getting out of their group going into the final match. Thankfully, their 0-0 draw against Ukraine was enough to earn them a spot in the final 16 after finding second behind Romania, who topped the group thanks to their superior goal difference. 

Team News  

The main news for France is surrounding the return of Mbappé, who suffered a broken nose in the first game. He will be expected to lead the line for the French. Additionally, they will also be delighted to have Aurélien Tchouaméni back in the starting lineup after questions were raised over his fitness.

Belgium are expected to look the same, though they may have have Dodi Lukebakio back in their lineup after the winger completed serving his suspension. He could replace Leandro Trossard.

Form Guide

France

Form (all competitions, most recent first): D-D-W-D-W
Most recent result: Poland 1-1 France, Euro 2024
European Qualifying: Finished 1st in Group B, with 22 points.

Belgium

Form (all competitions, most recent first): D-W-L-W-W
Most recent result: Ukraine 0-0 Belgium, Euro 2024
European Qualifying: Finished 1st in Group F, with 20 points 

Prediction 

Both teams have struggled to get going in this competition so far, but France may be slight favourites due to their superior firepower up top.

This is poised to be a cagey affair that may see the scores settled late in the tie or even in extra time.

France 2-1 Belgium

Predicted Fantasy XI

Goalkeeper: Koen Casteels
Defenders: William Saliba, Theo Hernández, Wout Faes
Midfielders: N’Golo Kanté, Kevin De Bruyne, Youri Tielemans, Adrien Rabiot
Forwards: Kylian Mbappé, Romelu Lukaku, Ousmane Dembélé
Captain: Kylian Mbappé
Vice-captain: Romelu Lukaku

Also watch: Should Cristiano Ronaldo start for Portugal in the knockout stages of Euro 2024?

Euro 2024 Round of 16 | Portugal v Slovenia | 12:30 am IST | July 2

Portugal will certainly be heading into this tie against Slovenia as favourites, but their opposition have proved in this tournament that they can be a tough nut to crack.

Roberto Martínez’s side themselves failed to score in their previous match against Georgia but still managed to top the group thanks to their two wins earlier in the competition.

Meanwhile, Slovenia may be filled with some confidence after their recent defensive display against England, which earned them a goalless draw. They qualified after finishing third in their group, with three points, and were level with Denmark in the end. 

Team News 

Portugal are good on the injury front and do not have any problems to deal with heading into this tie. Moreover, they will be boosted by the return of Rafael Leão, who missed the previous encounter through suspension.

As for Slovenia, they will face one major setback in the form of fullback Erik Janža, who will be missing this match due to suspension following his second booking of the tournament which he picked up against England.

Form Guide

Portugal

Form (all competitions, most recent first): L-W-W-W-L
Most recent result: Georgia 2-0 Portugal, Euro 2024
European Qualifying: Finished 1st  in Group J with 30 points 

Slovenia

Form (all competitions, most recent first): D-D-D-D-W
Most recent result: England 0-0 Slovenia, Euro 2024
European Qualifying: Finished 2nd in Group H with 22 points

Prediction 

Although Slovenia have managed to impress and Portugal aren’t where they would like to be, the latter have far superior talent, which should be enough to see them through this fixture. Expect it to be a tight encounter with few goals.

Portugal 1-0 Slovenia

Predicted Fantasy XI

Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak
Defenders: Pepe, Rúben Dias, João Cancelo
Midfielders: Vinitinha, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, João Palhinha
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benjamin Šeško, Rafael Leão
Captain: Cristiano Ronaldo
Vice-captain: Bruno Fernandes 

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Euro 2024 Round of 16 | France v Belgium | 9:30 pm IST | July 01
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