Euro 2016: Last 16 — Wales vs Northern Ireland
Its been a long time since Wales have been in a European Championship, but they seem to be enjoying it. The Welsh have only lost one match in the group stages, by way of a Daniel Sturridge goal in injury time. Anyway, the team bounced back to beat the Russians comprehensively to secure their last 16 place on the top of their group. The Welsh will look to make use of the creativity of Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey to create chances for Gareth Bale.
Its been a tough tournament for Northern Ireland, not many people would have expected them to leave the group when drawn with Germany, Poland and Ukraine. As a team they have shown a great deal of determination and haven’t given up after going a goal down. They would have had great pleasure in beating Ukraine along the way, and its no question their place in the quarter finals are deserved.
The Wales team is not set up for possession football, instead they like to invite the opposition to attack and then quickly counter using their pace up front. As a result, Wales don’t usually have a lot of possession and an average of 44% in the group stages proves that. They are able to sting a few passes together though, 79% have been accurate (823/1008). Now shooting stats, Wales have had 37 attempts on goal. 21 have been on target, 11 wide and 5 blocked. Individually, Gareth Bale has had 17 of those shots and it joint top scorer with 3 goals.
Northern Ireland have managed to have possession of the ball 34% of the time, in fairness their group wouldn’t have helped that statistic. When they have had the ball they have managed to complete 67% of their passes (432/635). Northern Ireland have had 17 attempts on goal with 8 being on target, 5 being sent wide and 4 shots being blocked. Goals have been at a premium in such a tough group. Northern Ireland have only managed to score two goals(both against Ukraine) in the group stages
There has been quite a few matches between the two nations, 96 according to UEFA. Out of those matches it is Wales who have come out on top most often (W45, D24, L27), with Wales scoring 194 goals to Northern Irelands 133 goals.
At least one home nation is making it through to the quarter finals of the Euros. Northern Ireland have been robust in defence, only conceding one goal a piece to Germany and Poland, but that goal has come as the German and Polish threats pushed more. The Wales team appear to have a good team mentality, which has brought about some good performances in the group stages. Considering Wales have scored 6 goals compared to Northern Ireland scoring 2. A Wales win looks to be on the cards.
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