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Euro 2016 bracket sets up for compelling Round of 16 games
1:21 | Planet Futbol
Euro 2016 bracket sets up for compelling Round of 16 games
Thursday June 23rd, 2016

The dramatic end to the group stage couldn’t disguise the fact that, for the most part, this has been a slightly disappointing opening to the tournament, yielding just 1.92 goals per game and precious few games of real quality. No side won all three group games, while many of the less-fancied sides troubled their supposed betters.

The suggestion is that this is a very open tournament, although there remains the possibility that one of the top sides will suddenly click into gear and surge through to success on July 10.

The knockout bracket has yielded an unbalanced final 16, with powers France, Germany, Spain, Italy and England on one half, while Belgium and Portugal benefited from underperforming in the group stage by being given a more favorable rout to navigate on the road to the Stade de France. 

Here is how the remaining teams stack up (and how the eliminated teams rank based on their showing):

Euro 2016 Power Rankings: The final 16
 
  • 1

    1France
    Pre-Tournament (1) | Opponent: Ireland
    The hosts struggled at time to break down dogged opponents and haven’t found anything approaching fluency, but, Patrice Evra’s bizarre concession of a penalty aside, they haven’t looked like conceding and have in Dimitri Payet the most in-form creator in the tournament. If Paul Pogba’s furious performance against Switzerland can be sustained, he may be about to prove a few people wrong as well.
     

  • 2

    2Germany
    Pre-Tournament (3) | Opponent: Slovakia
    Far from its best, still short of a striker and sill struggling to find the right balance between attack and defense, but its midfield remains an awesome unit. The performance against Northern Ireland suggests that with Mario Gomez in the team and Thomas Muller playing centrally, the old firepower could return.
     

  • 3

    3Spain
    Pre-Tournament (2) | Opponent: Italy
    Through qualifying the problem was a lack of rhythm. The performance against Turkey suggested that has returned, but sloppiness contributed to the downfall against Croatia, which resulted in a brutal last-16 draw against Italy.

  • 4

    4Italy
    Pre-Tournament (5) | Opponent: Spain
    Took Belgium apart and had enough to find a late winner against Sweden. Tactically impressive but lack central creativity. The Azzurri's biggest problem is a draw that pits them against Spain.

  • 5

    5Croatia
    Pre-Tournament (9) | Opponent: Portugal
    Has arguably the best midfield in the tournament ,and, while there are legitimate doubts about Mario Mandzukic’s capabilities, the biggest problems seem off the field. Beating Spain showed it can mix it with the best, and it's in the easier half of the draw. If Luka Modric returns to fitness and Croatia gets by Ronaldo & Co., look out.

  • 6

    6England
    Pre-Tournament (4) | Opponent: Iceland
    Dominated all three games but lacked cutting edge and really disappointed with its set pieces. Could still trouble better sides with pace on the break, but it won't find that in its last-16 opponent.
     

  • 7

    7Belgium
    Pre-Tournament (6) | Opponent: Hungary
    Wrangling continues between squad and coach and the Red Devils still seem less than the sum of their parts, but they’re very good parts.

  • 8

    8Poland
    Pre-Tournament (8) | Opponent: Switzerland
    Produced a performance of great tactical acuity to frustrate Germany and didn’t concede a goal in the group stage. Robert Lewandowski hasn’t fired yet, but his partnership with Arkadiusz Milik should be dangerous; plus, Poland is in the easier half of the draw.

  • 9

    9Portugal
    Pre-Tournament (10) | Opponent: Croatia
    A misfiring and sulky Cristiano Ronaldo contributed to a disjointed first-round display, but if it can get the balance right, Portugal still has the potential to reach the latter stages, especially given its half of the bracket.
     

  • 10

    10Hungary
    Pre-Tournament (23) | Opponent: Belgium
    Bernd Storck has transformed his side into a hard-working, well-disciplined unit with enough firepower to unsettle opponents.
     

  • 11

    11Wales
    Pre-Tournament (16) | Opponent: Northern Ireland
    Took full advantage of a demoralized Russia en route to winning Group B. Tactically well set up but weirdly lacking in ambition against England.

  • 12

    12Iceland
    Pre-Tournament (15) | Opponent: England
    Rode its luck at times but played with great commitment and spirit and was efficient in taking its chances.
     

  • 13

    13Slovakia
    Pre-Tournament (12) | Opponent: Germany
    A little unfortunate to lose to Wales, had the quality through Vladimir Weiss and Marek Hamsik to pick off Russia and defended doggedly against England. Just beat Germany prior to the competition and won't be awed by the reigning World Cup champions.

  • 14

    14Republic of Ireland
    Pre-Tournament (19) | Opponent: France
    A glorious finale to the group stage carried the Irisih through when they looked to have blown it by letting a lead slip in the opener against Sweden. Ireland is hard-working and well-organized, and Wes Hoolahan and Robbie Brady give it enough creativity to be a threat.

  • 15

    15Switzerland
    Pre-Tournament (18) | Opponent: Poland
    The creative players aren’t quite firing but defensive solidity got them through.

  • 16

    16Northern Ireland
    Pre-Tournament (20) | Opponent: Wales
    Magnificent against Ukraine and battled gamely for the narrow defeats to Poland and Germany that proved enough. It has goalkeeper Michael McGovern–not the on-fire Will Grigg–to thank for that.

  • The Eliminated Eight
     
    17

    17Turkey
    Pre-Tournament (17)
    Clung on as it was outclassed by Croatia but well-beaten by Spain. Earned victory over the Czech Republic in the final game, but it wasn't enough.

  • 18

    18Albania
    Pre-Tournament (24)
    Technically adept but lacked a little in incisiveness. Battled gamely after being reduced to 10 men early against Switzerland and very nearly held France.

  • 19

    19Austria
    Pre-Tournament (7)
    Although it held Portugal, it only really got going in the second half of the final game, the 2-1 defeat to Iceland, although it could easily have gotten more out of that game. Played scratchily and never got the best out of David Alaba.

  • 20

    20Czech Republic
    Pre-Tournament (14)
    Turned in a remarkable comeback to get the draw against Croatia but otherwise offered little in a disappointing showing.

  • 21

    21Sweden
    Pre-Tournament (21)
    A dire tournament for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to say farewell. It didn’t manage a shot on target until five minutes into its final group game. Only got a point because Ireland panicked having taken the lead.

  • 22

    22Russia
    Pre-Tournament (11)
    Desperately poor from the offset. The loss of three key midfielders sapped the life from an aging side that needs rejuvenation before hosting the World Cup in two years.

  • 23

    23Romania
    Pre-Tournament (22)
    Battled hard in the first game but lacked ambition and cutting edge. The decision to omit Nicolae Stanciu for the second game, against Switzerland, and then settle for a draw looked odd at the time and worse in retrospect.

  • 24

    24Ukraine
    Pre-Tournament (13)
    Flickered at times in defeat to Germany, but a defeat to Northern Ireland made Ukraine the first side to be eliminated.

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