Euro 2024: Spain huge favourites as competition enters semi-final stage

mcebisco
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As of Friday night, the two of the four semi-finalists for Euro 2024 are known.

Spain and France booked their places in the last four where they will play each other for a spot in the final.

La Roja got into the semis by seeing off hosts Germany, in what is arguably the game of the tournament.

Dani Olmo’s crisp finish seemed to have won it for the Spaniards, but Florian Wirtz’s instinctive strike dragged the game into extra time.

With seconds left to a penalty shoot-out, Mikel Merino headed in a dramatic winner.

“Excellent game, which would have been a credit to the sport if it was a final,” Clinton McDubus, a top football analyst and podcaster, tells DAILY POST.

“One of the best games in the tournament. Spain were superior and deserved to win, although Germany, on their part, were let down by some poor finishing.

“Spain almost paid for taking off their outlets too early, but they adapted to take the game.”

In the other match of the day, France needed penalties to eliminate Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal team-mates.

Both sides failed to score in 120 minutes and the winner had to be determined from 12 yards.

Joao Felix saw his effort cannon off the post, while Les Bleus were perfect with their kicks.

“As boring as we all expected it to be. Neither team wanted to fully commit to going all out.

“Both had to be as cautious as they could be, priority being to first avoid conceding. There were still chances for either side to win it before penalties, however.

“That said, France have shown that they’re masters of tournament football, of doing what is necessary to go deep in tournaments. We saw it again,” McDubus said.

There will be two more quarter-final clashes on Saturday.

England will take on Switzerland, hoping to end 58-year wait of winning a major trophy.

Gareth Southgate’s men have been far from impressive at the tournament, while the Swiss have been very eager to take down bigger countries – eliminating Italy in the Round of 16.

“I think England will be much better than they’ve been so far, but they’ll be coming up against a very solid Swiss side who have looked dangerous.

“I think we will have an exciting game, which will probably go to extra time,” McDubus said.

The winner of this tie will face either Turkey or the Netherlands in the second semi-final.

McDubus predicts: “Netherlands vs Turkey will be electric. Fireworks.

“I am expecting an open game, end to end action and goals.

“Turkey not having Demiral for the game will be a huge blow. The Netherlands should win it in regular time.”

When asked who is his favourite to win the competition, McDubus opted for Spain.

“They’re the most impressive team left standing and can adapt to all kinds of opposition.

“The only thing that could stop them is the suspensions they picked up against Germany. But they have a competent squad that should be able to deal with the absences.

“They are definitely favourites now,” he said.

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