Just prior to the start of the tournament I put predictions for every group stage match into an Excel spreadsheet in order to predict how I thought the tournament would develop. Now that the group stage has been completed I thought it might be interesting to see how my predictions compare to what actually happened:
Prediction: 1) France 2) Switzerland
Actual: Spot on!
Prediction: 1) England 2) Russia
Actual: 1) Wales 2) England
I overestimated the Russians and underestimated Wales; at the same time I assumed that England might be able to find the net a bit more than they actually did!
Prediction: 1) Germany 2) Poland
Actual: Spot on!
Although I never foresaw how poor Ukraine would be or that Northern Ireland would beat them by two goals and secure third place.
Prediction: 1) Spain 2) Turkey (although this was level on points with Croatia and the Czech Republic)
Actual: 1) Croatia 2) Spain
I suspect I probably wasn’t alone in predicting that Spain would win this group comfortably; although I had every other game not involving Spain down as a draw, maybe I thought I was playing the Pools?
Prediction: 1) Belgium 2) Italy
Actual: 1) Italy 2) Belgium
To be fair I knew this was wrong from the first game between Belgium and Italy, when Italy showed they could actually score goals and Belgium looked like they hadn’t been formally introduced to each other. I did however have Ireland in third and Sweden fourth.
Prediction: 1) Portugal 2) Austria
Actual: 1) Hungary 2) Iceland
I am with Cristiano on this; if Iceland hadn’t been so defensive, and the world hadn’t conspired against him, they would have won this group! On another note who would have predicted Hungary would win the group? Not me obviously!
3rd Place Qualifiers
Prediction: Ukraine, Croatia, Wales and Romania
Actual: Slovakia, Ireland, Portugal, Northern Ireland
The unexpected nature of some of the first and second place qualifiers had an obvious impact on the make-up of the best third-placed teams. To my credit I recognised that Wales and Croatia would get through but to my detriment not that Ukraine and Romania would be rubbish!