How do the final 16 teams stack up at Euro 2016? Jonathan Wilson ranks them ahead of the knockout stage.

By Jonathan Wilson
June 23, 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):

1
1France
Pre-Tournament (1) | Opponent: Ireland

 

1France
Pre-Tournament (1) | Opponent: Ireland

 

2
2Germany
Pre-Tournament (3) | Opponent: Slovakia

 

2Germany
Pre-Tournament (3) | Opponent: Slovakia

 

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

 

6England
Pre-Tournament (4) | Opponent: Iceland

 

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

 

9Portugal
Pre-Tournament (10) | Opponent: Croatia

 

10
10Hungary
Pre-Tournament (23) | Opponent: Belgium

 

10Hungary
Pre-Tournament (23) | Opponent: Belgium

 

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

 

12Iceland
Pre-Tournament (15) | Opponent: England

 

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.

<center>The Eliminated Eight</center> <div class="si-list-subheader"> </div>
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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