The Roar’s Euro 2020 expert tips and predictions: Match Day 1 (part two)

After just the lone match on opening day, Euro 2020 gets into full swing with three games on the second day of competition.

Wales face a tough task against Switzerland, Denmark will be strongly favoured to put the cleaners through rank outsiders Finland and Belgium will begin their quest for redemption against an unpredictable Russian team.

Good luck with your tips and remember to enter them in the sheet below to join in on all the fun and have a say in the voice of the crowd.

Here are the panel’s thoughts on all the overnight action.

Mike Tuckerman
Draw, Denmark, Belgium

This is going to be a devilishly difficult tournament to tip, and I suspect Switzerland are the better side here. But neither nation will relish having to schlep all the way out to Baku for this clash and although the Swiss have enjoyed much the better preparation, they’re also draw specialists in the group stage of the Euros. Having cast off their inferiority complex at the last European Championships, Wales should dig in for at least a point.

(Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

Denmark will be well aware they’ve been drawn in one of the more difficult-looking groups and they’ll want to get off to a flyer against tournament newcomers Finland. The Danes also enjoy the benefit of playing this game in their spiritual home stadium of Parken and they should have far too much firepower for a Finnish side that are simply happy to be there.

Maybe it’s the fact that the country could never even settle on a common language, let alone a consistent starting 11, that makes Belgium the team most likely to spontaneously combust in an entertaining fireball of finger-pointing and recriminations.

That said, the Red Devils are acutely aware that time is running out to win a major tournament with what is undoubtedly their golden generation. They should steamroll a willing but technically limited Russian side in picturesque Saint Petersburg.

Stuart Thomas
Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium

Despite most of the money running the way of the Swiss, their world ranking of 13 is mighty close to that of the Welsh at 17. There will be less in this match than many people feel and Wales does have form in this tournament. All eyes will be on Gareth Bale yet it could be Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri and Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka that decide Switzerland’s fate and whether they can manage to navigate this tricky group.

Euro 2020

(Photo by Mark Runnacles – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Denmark should really be far too strong for Finland in Copenhagen and Russia will be looking for an added boost playing in St Petersburg against one of the competition heavyweights. Belgium are strongly tipped to feature late in the tournament yet will also be sweating on the health of star Kevin De Bruyne, after the facial injuries he suffered in the Champions League final. Winning this match will be vital to both their confidence and chances and they will prevail in a high scoring match.

Texi Smith
Switzerland, draw, Belgium

Who doesn’t love a fairy tale? Wales were wonderful in the 2016 edition of this tournament, and there are expectations that this could be a repeat even without Ryan Giggs at the helm. With some tasty forwards from England and Europe’s top clubs, there are goals in this squad.

However, the team has an imbalance and the defence may cough up a decent tally in the goals against column. Pair that with a Switzerland team who are a solid collection of European players and this is a game that should be a formality for the Swiss. Fabian Schar to score a screamer from distance, and Breel Embolo to tap in the second just before the end.

Denmark versus Finland will be an absolute cracker of a game. The Danes have been on fire. Wins against Bosnia and Austria and a draw with Germany should not be sniffed at. With Finland showing no form whatsoever against their near neighbours Estonia and Sweden, they will need to pull something out of the bag to get anything here.

But they will ‘use the Forss’, new EPL striker Marcus Forss sliding home a goal in first half stoppage time totally against the run of play. Parity will be restored when Christian Eriksen bends a trademark free kick around the wall on the hour. Denmark will be gutted with this result, the game they had counted on winning.

Christian Eriksen

(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

It will be a goal fest in St Petersburg. Belgium will edge this by a goal from five. Towering Deadpool striker and niche video star Artem Dzyuba (look it up!) will have Russia in the lead early in this one, and Belgium will be looking shaky until Romelu Lukaku heads in just before the break.

The second half will have unexpected mistakes from both sides, Belgium drawing clear before conceding late to make it a nervy finish. A satisfactory but unconvincing start from the Belgians, but plenty more to come from surprise package Russia.

Pablo Bateson
Draw, Denmark, Belgium

In the battle of two small sized and populated nations, I fancy a score draw in Baku in Azerbaijan, a place perhaps more famous for Eurovision! Wales are resilient and well organised and of course have superstar captain Gareth Bale. The Swiss have more depth across the park and have been in fine form, winning six of their last seven games.

Although Finland have improved markedly over recent years, they face a Danish team who have scored an incredible 31 goals with nine wins in their last 11 games. Christian Eriksen of Inter Milan is their star midfielder with an incredible goal-scoring record and with home-turf advantage, his side should win comfortably over their Scandinavian neighbours.

Romelu Lukaku is likely to be one of main contenders for the tournament’s Golden Boot and his incredibly talented team will be confident of prevailing over their opponent. Since their over achievement at the 2018 World Cup, the performances of Russia have been inconsistent and despite a home advantage they will struggle to contain ‘Les Diables Rouges’.

Match Day 1 Mike Stuart Texi Pablo The Crowd
WAL vs SUI Draw SUI SUI Draw ?
Total 0 0 0 0 0

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