Choosing perfect captain for last eight of Euro-2016
There are fewer participants of Euro-2016 with each passing day, the selection narrows, but it makes selecting a captain in no way easier.
The captain offering for the last 16 contained three names: Muller, Payet and de Bruyne, but only the latter showed some significant result. Muller surprisingly did not participate in any of the three goals of the German national team, and Antoine Griezmann was the soloist in the French national team during the fight with the Irish.
It's high time to get to the last eight matches. The last eight is a very crucial stage and teams have already passed the group stage to get here and won one play-off match, where the opponent played in full gear. There are no more openly weak teams unable to surprise, but one may still find clues in each match.
Match not worth seeking captain in
Poland — Portugal. The match maximally difficult to predict and the only one of the quarter-finals where I will not dare to seek hypothetical captains. The Polish national team missed only one ball within 4 matches of the tournament, and that was after a completely crazy hit of Xherdan Shaqiri. Having an impeccable line of attack at the same time, the Poles are not scoring so much and Robert Lewandowski is still generally silent, delegating his bombarding authority to Jakub Blaszczykowski and Arkadiusz Milik. The Portuguese relentlessly attacked during the whole group stage, while Cristiano Ronaldo fiercely bombarded the gate of contenders, but the team issued a surprisingly closed and accurate football in the last 16, where both teams did not hit on target. It is highly probable that both teams will play more cautiously in the quarterfinals, will make a bet on defense and will attack by small forces, but this does not exclude the goals from the top forwards. In any event, it's over my head.
Matches worth seeking captain in
Wales — Belgium. As the last 16 have shown, the Welsh national team won the weakest Euro 2016 group, where neither the Russians, the British and the Slovaks have not shown themselves with anything special. The Welsh suffered in the match against the North Irish and achieved victory only through an own goal in the last 16. The playing style of the Belgians is much more suitable for the Welsh blindingly-fast counterattacks by Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, but the problem is that Marc Wilmots has corrected all the starting flaws and has brought his wards to the peak shape in time for the quarterfinals. Right now, the Belgians are stronger by names, and by physical condition, so it's de Bruyne and the company that should be considered for captaincy. Another thing is that the disqualification of Thomas Vermaelen will make the Belgians shovel their defense once again, reducing the likelihood of a cleansheet.
Germany — Italy. The national team of Italy has already issued two masterpiece matches at Euro-2016, pinning down Belgium (0:2) and Spain (0:2), and Antonio Conte proved he can confound any trainer using tactical tricks. «Squadra Azzurra» may already view the tournament as their asset, but we haven't seen true Germans so far. The game at peak was not required from the bundesteam in any of the four matches, and it's a problem for the Italians, because they don't really understand what to prepare for. The Germans will have an advantage in physical and mental condition, because they didn't spend a huge amount of effort and nerves in the hardest match against Spain. Additionally, the Italians have a lot of problems in the midline: the leading flanking midfielder Antonio Candreva is injured, and there could be no profile executor at all in the core zone, because Thiago Motta is disqualified and Daniele De Rossi has a small injury. All aces are in German hands now, and one needs to focus precisely on the wards of Joachim Low in the selection of a captain.
France — Iceland. The national team of Iceland has already made the whole world fall in love with it, and the result of the match with the French will not affect this love in any event. The Icelanders perfectly took advantage of the terrible form of the Austrians and the British and reached the quarterfinals, but they have acknowledged it themselves that it was a leap over their heads. Of course, they will be desperate to fight against the «three-colored» until the last seconds, and they have the example of the Irish who stunned the French with a quick goal, but the team of Didier Deschamps remains the main favorite of the tournament. A perfect midline of the French will not allow such liberties of the Icelanders in the attack as were in the match against the British, and the creative play of the owners is far more interesting.
Call to bookmaker
Our goal are the lowest ratios at an individual total more than 1.5, which reflects the attacking potential of the participants of the Euro-2016 quarterfinals.
France — 1.66
Belgium — 2.01
Germany — 2.53
The Italian defense is captivating, and no one particularly believes in the scattering of German goals, but the Icelanders don't seem to be able to restrain the French attacking impulse.
Perfect captain for last eight of Euro-2016
We're highlighting the best individual performances for 4 matches of Euro-2016 in the statistical table.
The statistical table made it possible to highlight two best Belgian creators - Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard, wherein the first seems preferable by the influence on team's attacking game. Moreover, a small involvement of Romelu Lukaku in the Belgian attacks is visible, and he's being changed over and over again. Dimitri Payet still has no competition by key statistical parameters from the French, but Antoine Griezmann who got in his shape is trying very hard. It is better to trust the stable Kroos and Ozil in the German attacking whirlwind. The leaders of attacks — Bale from Wales (with a small correction to Ramsey), Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal, and Blaszczykowski and Milik from Poland should be considered from other teams. If someone still believes in the Italians, the best peaks are Pellet and Giaccherini.
The captain top for the last eight of Euro-2016 from the «Goose and water» blog:
1. Dimitri Payet (France)/Antoine Griezmann (France)
2. Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium)
3. Eden Hazard (Belgium)