This summer will see no less than four of the five home nations travelling to France to participate in Euro 2016. This article will analyse just how far the home nations can reasonably expect to advance this summer.
Perhaps the most surprising home nation to be participating in France are Northern Ireland. With no recognised superstar players Michael O’Neill’s ‘s men showed great and determination in order to shock some bigger European nations and advance to this summer’s finals in France.
Kyle Lafferty’s scoring form on the international scene could catapult Northern Ireland out of their group and into the last 16 of this summers euros.
Sadly for the Northern Irish fans, I believe that this magical journey which has turned into somewhat of a fairy tale will end.
In conclusion, I feel Northern Ireland will reach the last 16 of this summer’s European Championships.
Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland had somewhat stuttering qualifying campaign that led to them requiring a play-off against Bosnia and Herzegovina to make this summer’s Championships.
With talisman Robbie Keane ageing this summer’s Euro is may be a tough challenge for the Republic who may not be as free scoring as they once were.
However, I believe that due to the relative strength of their group and motivation of the current crop of players to live up to their countries’ expectations should see them progress from the group to the last 16 stage however like Northern Ireland I do not expect them to advance any further than this stage.
In conclusion, I believe that the Republic of Ireland will be travelling home from Euro 2016 at the last 16 stage of the tournament.
Wale, who are spearheaded by Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale, will be playing in their first major tournament for 54 years at this summer’s European championships.
The Welsh side were massive underdogs going into qualifying and they shocked the world by leading the group for most of the campaign and taking 4 points off hot favourites Belgium.
This summer’s Euros could be a defining moment in Welsh football history. They have been placed in a favourable group and have also been given mouth-watering clash with their English counterparts.
I think that the Welsh will be able to not only advance through the group but through dogged determination battle through the round of 16 and into the quarter-finals. However, sadly I feel this will be the end of the Welsh dream and that Gareth bale will not be adding a Euro 2016 winners medal to his champions league triumph.
Of all the home nations England were probably the only side who were expected to qualify for this summers European Championships.
A relatively straightforward group did not allow England to impress to the levels to excite fans. However, England dealt with what was put in front of them and did it with a 100% record. They are looking good especially as they have two in-form strikers in Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy as well as teenage sensation Marcus Rashford, such players may have heightened expectation on the young lions.
I feel this blend of experience and young talent should enable Roy Hodgson’s men to advance past the group stages along with Wales without too much trouble.
I feel that England will eventually meet their demise within the tournament in the semi-final stage equalling their achievement from Euro 96.
Sadly they will just fall short of the final in my opinion due to fatigue brought on by a highly competitive Premier league season as well as lack of squad depth due to the uncertain fitness of both Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshire.
In conclusion, sadly I believe not one of the home nations will be victorious at this summer’s European Championships. However, I feel all the home nations will come out looking admirable as well as cementing the home nations on the European scene for future tournaments.