So the knockout stage begins, the time of the Euros that we have all looked forward to for 4 years! However I want us all to discuss the knockout stage by coming up with predictions, theories, news, statistics, anything as long as it is related to the Euro 2016 knockout stage. It is a momentous occasion which we will not witness in 4 years so we want to make the most of it while we can! Here, I have my current knockout stage predictions. The teams marked in bold are the teams I predict to win: Switzerland vs Poland Although Switzerland have a chance, Poland have a spine in their team (Glik, Krychowiak and Lewandowski + Milik) which gives them the edge over Switzerland, and their team is just better in general. Croatia vs Portugal Portugal may have Ronaldo and other good players, but it does not mean they can beat Croatia. Croatia have a much stronger team and lets face it, the reason why they drew with Czech Republic was because some of their fans were acting stupid by doing what they did and almost injured some people which is enough to distract anyone from playing in a football match. And also I believe that the Croatian players are not as big-headed and arrogant as some of the Portuguese players are which will give them a big edge because in a knockout stage, no player can be big-headed and arrogant, and on top of that, the Croatian fans are aggressive, loud and hot-headed which is what any title-contending team needs, like Leicester City for example. Now when I say title-contending, I mean Croatia are Euro 2016 contenders for they are put in the opposite route of Germany, Spain, Italy and France and also they have the team that are capable enough to do it especially if they can beat Spain, a team that have not lost a Euro match in 2 tournaments and have won those two tournaments in a row, and on top of that they were without Modric and Mandzukic. Meanwhile, Portugal failed to win a match in a group stage including Iceland, Austria and Hungary. You can all talk about Ronaldo as much as you want, but at the end of the day, this is not made up, it is a fact. Period. Wales vs Northern Ireland Norhern Ireland have no chance against Wales in my opinion. Their team is not as good and Wales also have their spine just like Poland (Williams, Ramsey and Bale). Hungary vs Belgium Hungary are just not as good of a team as Belgium, that is it. I cannot see this prediction being up for debate when you look at the team Belgium have (Courtois, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Witsel, Nainggolan, De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku, Carrasco, etc). Germany vs Slovakia Although Slovakia have their spine (Skrtel, Hamsik and Weiss) who can manage a fight with Germany, Slovakia just are not as good all round when you look at Germany's team (Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Kroos, Ozil, Khedira, Muller, etc). These are all world class players and I just can not see the whole of Slovakia's team managing all these players Germany have on their team. Italy vs Spain Now this is the hardest match to predict by far because I see these 2 teams as the 2 best in the world, but I give the edge to Italy. The fact is Italy did not take the group stage that seriously which was why Conte was using nearly all of his selected players, not just his best team for the whole group stage. and not to mention that Insigne was on the subs bench for nearly the whole group stage. I believe that Conte is letting the players that are not as good play in the group stage and then he will play his first and final squad in the knockout stage. For this reason, I notice a big team bond and spirit which I do not notice in Spain as much. Everyone is getting a chance to play, which is actually a lot more important than you think. Now Spain may have a very good team who can break down big teams and they have Morata who knows Juventus well, but the fact is Italy's fans are much louder, their defense also knows Morata well and they will most likely break him down easily for how good they can be defensively and the other Spanish midfielders and forwards around Morata will most likely be broken down as well, I mean all it takes is for Italy to score which they definitely can do and then park the bus. I am not saying that Spain cant score against Italy because they can, but I can never be so sure because of how good and consistent Italy's defence can be, much more consistent than Spain alltogether in my opinion and evidence of that statement is this (this involves the league campains of Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona): Italy's defense is mainly made up of Juventus. Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini and Buffon all play for Juventus. One is a goalkeeper, that is Buffon, and then the rest (Bonucci, Barzagli and Chiellini) are their defenders. And then you get a midfielder from Roma, Lazio, so on and so fourth, but the difference is the midfielders are always alongside eachother whilst the defence and the goalkeeper are alongside eachother, in other words the midfield is one part while the defence and goalkeeper is another part because that is the whole point of the football formation. The offence make the top part, the midfield make the middle part and then the defence including the goalkeeper make the bottom part, so this is what I mean. Now Juventus's defense, along with their team, managed to keep a winning streak for 14 matches in the Serie A including Napoli and Roma who were 2 of the top 3 Italian teams along with Juventus this season, they went 10 matches without conceding a goal and one of those two matches were against Napoli and Roma, the top 2 out of 3 Italian teams like I said, and on top of that Juventus went unbeaten for 26 matches and won 25 out of 26 of those matches. Now if that is not consistent, I do not know what is consistent. Now, meanwhile Atletico Madrid had a hiccup here and there during their La Liga campaign, Real Madrid and Barcelona did go 12 matches unbeaten and Real Madrid's run was included Barcelona while Barcelona's run included Atletico Madrid and then Barcelona went 23 matches unbeaten including Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, but drew 4 in the process and the best part about it is they drew 3 out of their last 4 games at one point during their La Liga campaign. Not to mention that none of these 3 teams managed to go 10 matches without conceding a goal, but instead only managed to go 5 matches or under without conceding a goal every now and again, and as for the Premier League teams that some of the Spanish players play for, do not even get me started on them. We already know how inconsistent Premier League teams can be, so for that reason they will be written off the equation. So in terms of consistency, Juventus's defence alone wins which makes nearly all the difference (of course the midfielders also play a part in defence) because their offence can definitely score goals while the defence 99.9% of the time tend to make nearly every single offender look average or sometimes even rubbish, and you see that when you watch them play. This massive statement is why I believe Italy have the edge over Spain, but do not get me wrong, Spain do have a chance against Italy but only if they play the most beautiful offensive football they can. They can do that because at the end of the day, there are players from Barcelona and Real Madrid such as Ramos, Pique, Alba, Iniesta and Busquets and they are teams who have scored 111 goals out of 38 matches when put together which is still ridiculous, they conceded 31.5 goals on average which is still very good (not to mention Silva, De Gea, Fabregas, Thiago and Juanfran who indeed plays for a defefnsive team that is Atletico Madrid, but having 1 player from a defensive team is not the same as having 4 players right next to eachother who play for the same club and the same nation) and then they have Morata who is a very clinical striker because at Juventus, you have to be clinical and Morata is just that. With all the study and thinking I have been doing in the past, I give the edge to Italy but it is still very close and I still feel that Spain have a chance. France vs Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland are a capable team, but not as capable as France when you look at players like Lloris, Koscielny, Evra, Matuidi, Kante, Pogba, Payet, Griezmann and etc. I am part Irish by the way but it will not stop me from predicting that France will win because they have the better England vs Iceland I am English and I must say that we are just diabolical compared to nearly all of these teams we may have to face in this Euro 2016 knockout stage. Every single problem that you can think of for a football team, England have those problems. The poor management, the inconsistency, the attitude problems (especially Sterling and Wilshere and like I said, no player can have a bad attitude going into a knockout stage otherwise it can hold the whole team back from its full potential), the lack of leadership, the abhorrent playing style, the amount of money involved in English football, the hilarious media, the lack of faith in youth, oh my goodness me the list of problems can go on and on about what is wrong with England national football team. Meanwhile, Iceland actually inspire people including myself. They have a good team, they have leadership, they have quality management, they always do their best and their fans are just wonderful to watch with their expectations of the team not too low, but not too high and their expression of love for their national team, and same with the players. These are attributes that England in fact do not have! For these reasons, Iceland will take advantage of all of these problems England have, they will want the win more and I will just have to predict that Iceland beat England. These are all my predictions of the Euro 2016 Round of 16. If you have anything to talk about that is related to the Euro 2016 knockout stage, discuss it all there! In the mean time, I will be watching and discussing as well. Bring on the Euro 2016 knockout stage!