The second round of group games will be completed today with Ireland and Belgium facing off in Group E while all four teams in Group F are in action today. Here’s your preview of today’s fixtures.
Belgium were shocked on Monday evening when Italy unexpectedly took them apart running out 2-0 winners.Ireland dominated their opening encounter against Sweden Wes Hoolahan scored a superb goal to give them the led before a Ciaran Clark own goal leveled the sides. Ireland were the better team on the day but were unlucky – the woodwork saved the Swedes on numerous occasions! Belgium have tried to dispel rumours of unrest in the camp following that defeat with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois reported to have had an altercation with his manager Marc Wilmots. The Republic of Ireland will be without Jonathan Walters due to an achilles injury. Both sides have an incentive to perform at their best today and should put on a great display. The pitch in Bordeaux is far from perfect after prolonged periods of rainfall. It was clearly cutting up as both sides trained on it yesterday evening lets hope it doesn’t affect the game.
Iceland produced a spirited performance on Tuesday to come from behind to draw with Portugal. Hungary on the other hand created a huge upset by defeating supposed dark horses Austria 2-0 in their opening game. Iceland were heavily dependent on the heroics of goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson in their opening game however they did look dangerous going forward at times. Hungary were pressurized early but a well worked team goal broke the deadlock before a sending off allowed them to exploit a porous Austria defence to seal a 2-0 win. This will be an interesting clash that won’t disappoint a neutral viewer.
Before the tournament started many believed this game would decide who would finish first or second in the group it now seems as if this game represents whether or not Austria will progress beyond the group stage. A shock defeat to Hungary and Iceland’s strong performance against Portugal will see both sides attack this game with real intensity. It is very difficult to call a winner in this one. Can Cristiano Ronaldo help Portugal on their way or will David Alaba & co. put their nation back in contention? All will be revealed come eight o’clock this evening!!
There is your preview to today’s games. Enjoy the football and be sure to check back here for full match reports on all the games.