On Friday the action moves to Group E, as Italy go head-to-head with Sweden. The Azzurri could seal a spot in the knockout stages after an excellent 2-0 win over Belgium in the group opener.
Antonio Conte has a highly-experienced squad and they showed all their know-how against the highly-rated Red Devils. The win over the Belgians means that Italy have won their last five games in European Championship games, stretching back to the qualifiers.
The Azzurri also have a decent recent record against Sweden, having gone six matches unbeaten against the Scandinavians.
Sweden produced what could only be described as a tepid display in their 1-1 draw against Republic of Ireland. Erik Hamren’s team managed to secure a draw despite failing to have shot on target all game.
Star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic was largely subdued, but he did create the equaliser with a dangerous cross. The pre-tournament assessment of Sweden was that they are a very average team, other than Ibrahimovic and they have not produced anything to suggest otherwise so far in France.
The Swedes cannot afford another loss in this clash or their chances of making the last 16 would be all-but over.
The evening kick is in Group D, as Czech Republic face Croatia in Saint-Etienne in a game that could define both teams chances of making the knockout stages.
The Czech’s opened their campaign with a 1-0 defeat by Spain and played a pretty cautious style, which is understandable considering the opposition. This game will allow Pavel Vrba’s team a better opportunity to show what have to offer going forward.
The Czech’s had a better qualifying record than their opponents, but will head into this must-not-lose clash as underdogs.
Croatia were impressive in their opening game and have quality running right through their team, especially in the engine room with the likes of Luke Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
The Croats continued a good defensive run of clean sheets from qualifying by not conceding against Turkey, which means they have not conceded in three games in the competition, qualifiers included. Vrba’s team can afford to draw or even lose this game, but with a game against group favourites Spain to in the last game they will want to seal their fate in this clash.
The late kick-off sees European champions Spain face Turkey, who seem to have emerged as the weakest team in the group. Spain dominated the opener against Czech Republic, but the lack of an effective forward meant the Spaniards struggled to take their chances in front of goal.
Alvaro Morata started up front last time out, but Aritz Aduriz could start as the lone striker in this clash. A win will see Vicente del Bosque’s side seal their place in the knockout rounds of the competition.