Diogo Jota plays in front of 61,000 & Liverpool trio aim for more action

Diogo Jota plays in front of 61,000 & Liverpool trio aim for more action

Diogo Jota got of to a winning start, though his nation left it late – and every country has now played once at Euro 2020, as we quickly head into round two.

The first week seems to have gone by in a blur of wonder goals, frustrating attackers, excitable commentators and the lingering shock of Christian Eriksen’s collapse – who thankfully appears very much on the mend.

Into the second week of games the tournament goes and this batch of fixtures could be make or break for several nations, with Wales perhaps feeling that way about their game on Wednesday.

They – and everyone else – still have another game to play afterwards, but needing a win against the best side in the group is far from ideal, so expect the tension to rise across the Continent this week.

 

Day five talking points

  • Cristiano Ronaldo set himself yet another record with a late brace making him the all-time top scorer at the Euros
  • France put forward their credentials, but not in wholly convincing fashion perhaps…
  • Germany, however, were toothless and predictable despite plenty of possession and intent

 

Today’s fixtures

  • Finland vs Russia, Group B, 2pm
  • Turkey vs Wales, Group A, 5pm
  • Italy vs SwitzerlandGroup A, 8pm

 

Expectations on…

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 11: Gareth Bale of Wales looks on prior to the Wales Training Session ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group A match between Wales and Switzerland at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on June 11, 2021 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Matthew Lewis - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Gareth Bale. He was somewhere between poor and anonymous in Wales’ opening game and they need him to step up against Turkey.

A win for Wales and they’re basically through with four points, given three could qualify. Anything less and it’s a very, very tough road to the last 16 against Italy.

 

Key battle to watch

Xherdan Shaqiri showed his creativity and invention for an hour in the first game; now perhaps a little fitter and more confident, he could run Jorginho far more ragged than Turkey managed to if Switzerland keep attacking and get the ball forward quickly.

The Chelsea man was among Italy’s top performers last week as they had so much possession – will they be just as impressive this time around? If so, it might be Shaqiri who is a bystander.

 

Fans are talking about…

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JUNE 14: In this Handout picture provided by UEFA, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal speaks to the media during the Portugal Press Conference ahead of the Euro 2020 Group F match between Hungary and Portugal at Puskas Arena on June 14, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo, to be honest.

His brace makes him a favourite for the Golden Boot award, it also made him the top scorer in European Championships history, and he apparently “won Twitter” before kick-off.

The No7, in his press conference, moved some sponsorship coke bottles out of the way, snorted in derision at it and told everyone to drink water instead.

 

Reds in action

Group A is the Reds-heavy one! Xherdan Shaqiri for Switzerland will start again, but one of our Welsh contingent will also hope to.

Neco Williams could feature if they revert to a back three, while Harry Wilson will hope to be an impact sub option if needed.

 

Predictions

Russia to edge out Finland to make Group B tight. Wales to perhaps get another point…Italy to beat the Swiss.

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