Hold the L’s Akeem, Steven and Pajak joined Flav Bateman to decide how the 2020 UEFA European Championships could pan out, beginning with tonight’s clashes.
Although there was little to be debated surrounding France against Switzerland, Croatia versus Spain divided opinions on the Soccer Saturday’s Super 6 podcast, as host Flav asked the panel: “Is there any chance that Croatia can cause an upset against Spain?”
The ‘most boring team in the competition bar none’, as Flav dubbed Luis Enrique’s side, Steven noted: “I think they’re maybe warming into it a bit but Croatia have been pretty boring as well. Croatia haven’t really set the world alight, I would argue.”
However, Pajak foresaw fine margins, adding: “I think it’s close, to be honest. I think it’s a bit of a toss up but I do have Spain going through.
Whilst Akeem suggested that Spain may have the advantage over a ‘more tired’ and ‘leggy’ looking Croatian side.
Looking ahead to the quarter-finals, with Italy and Belgium having both booked their places in the next round of the knockout stages, overcoming Austria and Portugal respectively, the Super 6 predicted an ‘insanely good’ game from the two European heavyweights.
“I think this has the potential to be a very good game of football,” said Pajak. “For me, Italy are the best side in it at the moment. They’ve not quite been tested in a way that some of the other teams have.
“They’ve breezed through the group stages and beaten an Austria side that’s not very good, quite frankly. It’ll be Italy’s first big game but with Immobile up front, the players they’ve got, the world-class manager that they’ve got in Mancini and a world-class defence, I think it’s very difficult for Belgium to score against Italy.”
Meanwhile, Steven concurred that whilst Italy might edge Belgium in the quarter-finals, fans should not rule out Roberto Martinez’s men just yet.
He said: “Lukaku knows the Italian defenders because he played there and he was incredible in Serie A, so there is that element and obviously, if you’ve got De Bruyne – I’m not just saying it because I’m a Manchester City fan – you’ve genuinely got a chance. He can just drop a world-class pass like that.
“I think it’ll be a cracking game. It’ll be one of those games where it’s 3-2 to probably Italy, but it’s going to be end-to-end.”