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Five talking points ahead of the Euro 2020 knockout stages

Five talking points ahead of the Euro 2020 knockout stages
© Reuters
England face Germany while Wales take on Denmark in Amsterdam.

Euro 2020's last-16 line up was completed on a dramatic evening as three-times winners Germany left it late to secure qualification.

With Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo on the verge of breaking yet another record and England bidding to end a 55-year wait for a major trophy, the race to the final at Wembley on July 11 promises further drama.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the talking points as the tournament reaches the knockout stage.

Just Ron more

Ronaldo's penalty double in a 2-2 Group F draw with world champions France handed holders Portugal a showdown with FIFA's number one-ranked team Belgium. In the process, the Juventus forward equalled former Iran striker Ali Daei's record of 109 international goals and one more against the Belgians will bring a fresh accolade. Three of his tally to date have come against Roberto Martinez's men. A fourth could prove priceless.

Sweet for Southgate?

Gareth Southgate's penalty miss against Germany ended England's hopes at Euro '96
Gareth Southgate's penalty miss against Germany ended England's hopes at Euro '96 (Sean Dempsey/PA)

Germany will head to Wembley for the latest chapter in one of international football's biggest rivalries. From the Geoff Hurst hat-trick in England's 1966 World Cup final victory to the Gerd Muller strike which ended their reign four years later and the Frank Lampard goal-that-never-was in South Africa in 2010, the fixture has rarely been uneventful – as Gareth Southgate knows only too well. The England manager had his penalty saved in the shoot-out against Germany at Wembley which ended England's Euro 96 dreams at the semi-final stage. Revenge would be sweet.

Dutch courage

Surprise Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales are threatening a repeat after negotiating their way through a testing Group A and a punishing travel schedule which has taken them from Baku to Rome and now Amsterdam. Robert Page's men face a Denmark side which has coped admirably with the emotional trauma of Christian Eriksen's collapse on the pitch after suffering a cardiac arrest in their opening fixture, buoyed by a tide of support both at home and from the football family in general. In the circumstances, Gareth Bale and his team-mates may be considered underdogs – just as they were before they dumped Belgium out of the tournament five years ago.

City showdown

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne (left), Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva (right) will be the best of enemies on international duty
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne (left), Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva (right) will be the best of enemies on international duty (Ian Walton/PA)

When Belgium and Portugal go head-to-head in Seville on Sunday evening, there will be plenty of familiar faces to English football fans. Nine members of the Belgium squad play in the Premier League and 11 more have previously been on the books of clubs in England's top flight, while eight of the Portuguese cohort currently play in England and five more have done so in the past. Three of the stars of Manchester City's title charge last season – Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne and Portugal duo Bernardo Silva and Ruben Dias – find themselves in opposition.

Quadruple for Deschamps?

France head coach Didier Deschamps has won the World Cup as both player and manager and is attempting to complete a similar double at Euro 2020
France head coach Didier Deschamps has won the World Cup as both player and manager and is attempting to complete a similar double at Euro 2020 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

France boss Didier Deschamps remains on track to complete a remarkable quadruple as his side face Switzerland in Bucharest on Monday. No man has ever won the World Cup and the Euros as both player and manager. The midfielder captained France to World Cup glory on home soil in 1998 and then to Euro success two years later. He was then in charge when France lifted the World Cup at Russia 2018. Four more wins this summer would see him make history.

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England's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring against Croatia at Euro 2020 on June 13, 2021
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JapanJapan124521
ChinaChina115824
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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