England face tough test. The Dutch are slight favourites in the other match of Euro 2024

Source: X

After high-voltage clashes in the first two quarter-finals of Euro 2024, a couple of comparatively low-intensity contests are coming up. England versus Switzerland and the Netherlands against Turkiye are, on paper, not as exciting as Germany-Spain or France-Portugal.

But, let’s not presume. Knockout matches in a top-tier international competition are always potential thrillers. There isn’t a lot of gap between the teams when it comes to current form and they can always produce edge-of-the-seat thrillers. Who thought Turkiye versus Austria in the pre-quarters would be such a nail-biter! So, get ready for some riveting action.

England vs Switzerland

England did well in the last few competitions. Their worst in the last three outings was quarter-finals in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Before that, they played the World Cup semi-final in 2018 and the Euro 2021 final. However, they have been a few notches below those standards in Germany so far. Gareth Southgate’s team came back from the brink of elimination against Slovakia and that, too, thanks to a super effort from Jude Bellingham.

Switzerland is a non-glamorous side high on efficiency. They usually don’t make it to the business rounds of top competitions, but they are known for giving some top guns a run for their money. It was this team which team knocked France out of the previous edition of the Euro despite trailing 1-3 at one stage. They are organised in defence and midfield and there is cutting edge in Xherdan Shaquiri and Granit Xhaka. They can sting and they have already shown the defending champions the door.

Against an England side not quite getting things right, Switzerland can be dangerous opponents. They have not achieved anything yet at the top level and that is a big motivation against a team still to show in Euro 2024 that they are capable of big deeds. Expect a fierce contest, where reputation, club backgrounds and salaries will count for little.
Prediction: England 1 Switzerland 1. Tie-breaker.

The Netherlands vs Turkiye

Going by reputations, this is an easy pick. The Dutch are obviously the more fancied side. After an ordinary outing in the group stage, they showed spark in the quarter-final demolition of Romania. There is verve in the midfield and steel in defence. The only worry is the absence of an out and out centre forward. Despite that, they netted thrice against Romania.

If they maintain balance and shape and let internal differences not affect their performance on the pitch, the Netherlands have a better chance of winning this encounter. But those are big ‘ifs’. For the Dutch to progress, they have to present a united front. There are possibilities of friction, which will be detrimental to the team’s cause unless they leave it behind.

Turkiye are a determined lot. After years, they are showing determination and playing a brand of football which is brave and effective. The round-of-16 thriller against a highly impressive Austrian side was proof of their resilience. Short on big names and high on motivation, they can be a thorn in the flesh of more reputed sides.
Prediction: The Netherlands 2 Turkiye 1