The most exciting UEFA Euros games, afew brews and bonding with my big brother

The EUFA Euro championships are currently ongoing and I was talking about the games with my brother about which teams each is supporting. He happens to be an ardent Cristiano Ronaldo fanboy or CR7 as he calls him and I happen to be a huge France team supporter. Our teams have got off a flying start and the more we discussed the schedules, the more we realized that not only are there more exciting group stage matches but we also have a game we will get to watch together but on opposite camps.

Cristiano Ronaldo

The thing you need to understand about my big brother and me is that he is my best friend and I really look forward to the days when we can hang out.
It’s been this way ever since we were children. and now that he is working and has moved out of our parent’s home, and I am in university, I can’t say that we really get to hang out and play video games or watch football as much as we used to.

It was he who introduced me to football and we made a ritual out of watching the games together.
As luck would have it, the EUFA Euro championships have coincided with the period when he has taken annual leave and as for me, public unis haven’t yet resumed since the pandemic kicked in so we are as aligned as the stars.

For us, the big game to catch is, of course, Portugal vs France but there are others still that will be exciting to watch.
So as I prepare to sit down with my big bro and catch these fire games, allow me to put on my pundit hat and tell you which games we have earmarked for our viewing pleasure because, in the group stages, they promise the most fireworks:

Portugal vs Germany 19th June 2021
The most exciting match-up of the weekend will see Portugal and their talisman Cristian Ronaldo come up against a wounded german side who lost their open game against France in the UEFA Euro 2020 European championship.

Die Mannschaft

Portugal are attempting to seal their ticket to the knockout round of the games with one match to spare when they meet Joachim Low’s side in Munich.
The match will be played on Saturday evening will see Germany attempt to exorcise the demons of their loss courtesy of a Mats Hummels own-goal. Die Mannschaft as the team is colloquially known, would be looking to wreck the Portuguese party in order to qualify without having to scrape by on hopes of mathematical favors which would be the case if they only manage to beat Hungary in their group of death.

Meanwhile, the Group F leaders, Portugal, coached by Fernando Santos’ side had to wait till the 84th minute of their match to come up with a brace of goals (one of which came by way of the penalty spot) to cement their victory 3-nil victory over Hungary.

The Cristiano Ronaldo-led side is well aware that a win over Germany books their slot in the last 16 stage of the championship and a top-two slot is guaranteed even if Hungary fails to curtail France’s run in the second game of Group F happening on the same night.

It will be interesting to see what changes Joachim Low will make to the German team ahead of their clash with Portugal seeing as they struggled to create meaningful changes in their first Group F game against France.

The most likely team lineups will probably look as follows:
Portugal possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Semedo, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Danilo, Carvalho; Bernardo, Fernandes, Jota; Ronaldo
Germany possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Ginter, Hummels, Rudiger; Kimmich, Gundogan, Kroos, Gosens; Sane, Muller, Gnabry

Italy vs Wales 20th Jun 2021
Wales want to secure their ticket to the knockout stage of EUFA Euro 2020 but to do so they have to get through one of the tournament’s most in-form teams, Italy at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday. The Dragons as they are known have managed four points from their opening two Group A matches.

They managed a fortuitous draw against Switzerland but had a stellar performance against Turkey and even though Gareth Bale snuffed a penalty, the game ended up a 2-nil thumping.

Roberto Mancini’s Italy side is eager to keep their momentum and will attack for the full three points.
The Azzurri as they are known won their first two games and are unbeaten in their last 29 matches in all competitions ever since they lost 1-nil to Portugal back in 2018.

Italy possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Acerbi, Emerson; Verratti, Cristante, Barella; Bernardeschi, Belotti, Chiesa
Wales possible starting lineup:
Ward; Roberts, Mepham, Rodon, Gunter, Williams; Morrell, Allen; Bale, Wilson, James

Portugal vs France 23rd June 2020
The last time these two sides met, it was for a friendly back in September 2015 and a solitary Mathieu Valbuena goal was the difference. But prior to that, France had won all three of their competitive matches against Portugal -but that was before the Euro 2016 final.

That said, the teams have never met for a qualifying fixture.

That aside, France has been firing from all cylinders and their historic win against Germany was due to a forced error from Mats Hummels which resulted in an own goal. However, Portugal beat them to the Euro crown back in 2016despite talismanic player Cristiano Ronaldo picking up an injury in the 25th minute of their match.
On the material day, Fernando Santos’s Portugal claimed the trophy thanks to a 109th-minute strike from substitute Éder.
Barring injuries to their squads, the most likely lineup would be:
Portugal possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Semedo, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Danilo, Carvalho; Bernardo, Fernandes, Jota; Ronaldo
France possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez; Kante, Pogba, Rabiot; Griezmann; Mbappe, Benzema

We’ll be catching these games over at his house so we don’t disturb our folks incase things get too raucous. and I for one am grateful he got Showmax which is airing all the EUFA Euro games live. it will just be me, my best friend(my big brother), and maybe a few brews if he is feeling generous. Seeing as it’s Father’s Day this weekend, we might even invite our father to hang with his sons.

You too can catch these games on Showmax Pro. Showmax Pro is available at Ksh 2 100 per month while  Showmax Pro Mobile is available at  Ksh. 1 050.  For more information go to Live-streaming sport on Showmax is brought to you by SuperSport. For full Euro 2020 fixtures, visit SuperSport.