Lawro’s Euros predictions

BBC Sport expert Mark Lawrenson

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson is predicting the outcome of every game at the 2016 European Championship.

The second round of group games includes England v Wales, Ukraine v Northern Ireland and Belgium v the Republic of Ireland.

Before the group stage started, Lawro picked his two teams to go through automatically from each group into the knockout stage, and the six teams he thinks will finish bottom and definitely go home (four of the six third-placed teams also go through to the last 16).

You can make your own predictions and take on your friends and other fans using the BBC’s Euros Predictor.

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.



Romania v Switzerland (Paris, 17:00 BST)

Romania’s first game ended in glorious failure thanks to Dimitri Payet’s brilliant late winner for France in the opening game of the tournament.

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Euro 2016: Dimitri Payet scores stunning French winner

It was a great effort by Romania but I was at Stade de France to watch it and, until they got their late penalty, they did not really look like they were going to score.

Switzerland were not too impressive against Albania either but they won. A draw in this game would suit them, and I think that is what they will get.


France v Albania (Marseille, 20:00 BST)

As hosts, France were under serious pressure at Stade de France on Friday. Winning that first game was massive and that will really help to settle them down.

I will be very interested to see how they line up for this game because when they brought Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman on in the second half against Romania they looked a lot more dangerous.

They could also switch Antoine Griezmann to play through the middle and they will have serious pace in attack.

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Euro 2016: France 2-1 Romania highlights

France have so many options in attack it is frightening but it will be all about whether they can break down Albania, who would be delighted with a point despite losing their opener.

Whatever happens in Marseille, Albania will still have a chance of finishing third in Group A if they can beat Romania.

I can see there being a lot of exciting games in those final group fixtures because the lesser teams in each group will have to open up and go for a win to stay in the competition.

Lawro’s pre-tournament picks – Going through: France and Switzerland Third place: Romania Going home: Albania



Russia v Slovakia (Lille, 14:00 BST)

I am at this game and, sadly, security in Lille has become a issue because of what happened with the England and Russia fans in Marseille, and the fact England are playing in nearby Lens on Thursday.

On the pitch, Slovakia looked pretty unconvincing in their defeat by Wales. They had a decent 20-minute spell in the second half when they equalised, but that was about it.

Russia were not that impressive either. When they had the ball they never really looked like getting in behind the England defence and Roy Hodgson’s side should have won comfortably.


England v Wales (Lens, 14:00 BST)

England will have felt like they lost their first game after conceding such a late equaliser to Russia. I see them winning this time, though.

Wales had to put in a massive effort to beat Slovakia but Chris Coleman’s substitutions for Wales were much better than Roy Hodgson’s for England, and that helped them get over the line.

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Hal Robson-Kanu scores late winner for Wales

In Lens, however, I see England dominating possession and creating a lot of chances.

They just have to be aware that Gareth Bale can break away for Wales and he has got fantastic pace, but he cannot hurt England when he does not have the ball.

Lawro’s pre-tournament picks – Going through: England and Russia Third place: Wales Going home: Slovakia



Ukraine v Northern Ireland (Lyon, 17:00 BST)

Northern Ireland put in a gallant effort in their 1-0 defeat by Poland, but if they had lost by two or three then they could not really have complained. These finals are a big step-up for them, and it showed.

This game is seen as make-or-break for Michael O’Neill’s side, who play Germany in their final group game, but their biggest problem is that I do not see them making many chances.

The danger is that if Northern Ireland do go on the attack then they could get opened up and I hope that does not happen.

Ukraine had chances in their defeat by Germany but they looked like they knew they were second-best in that game. They will not have that approach in Lyon.


Germany v Poland (Paris, 20:00 BST)

Both of these teams won their first games and showed us a little bit of what they are about.

Germany were unspectacular but, as always, efficient against Ukraine while Poland’s dangerous attack was too strong for Northern Ireland.

The Poles look like a decent side but I am backing Germany to do what they always seem to do, which is defend well, make good decisions in games, take their chances – and win.

Lawro’s pre-tournament picks – Going through: Germany and Poland Third place: Ukraine Going home: Northern Ireland



Czech Republic v Croatia (Saint Etienne, 17:00 BST)

The Czech Republic held out for 87 minutes before conceding against Spain and their formation was something like 9-1 towards the end.

The Czechs really need to get something out of this game so they will be more attacking, but they will have to be careful.

I was at Croatia’s opening win over Turkey and they looked strong. Luka Modric got the headlines for his spectacular winner but there is plenty of quality in their team.


Spain v Turkey (Nice, 20:00 BST)

I was disappointed with Turkey’s performance against Croatia. They only looked like scoring when 18-year-old Emre Mor came on with 20 minutes to go.

They will need a big improvement to get anything out of this game, but they probably won’t see much of the ball.

It was a case of ‘same old Spain’ against the Czech Republic. They dominated possession but the main reason they did not score for so long was that they decided not to shoot whenever they got near to goal.

Lawro’s pre-tournament picks – Going through: Croatia and Spain Third place: Turkey Going home: Czech Republic



Italy v Sweden (Toulouse, 14:00 BST)

Italy’s win over Belgium was another demonstration of why they are a tournament team.

They gave the Belgians nothing and they are very clever about it – even down to them sharing their bookings out to stop attacks without getting anyone sent off.

Apart from one or two players, Sweden looked pretty ordinary against the Republic of Ireland.

As well as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Martin Olsson looked dangerous when he came forward down the left, but he was given far too much room – he will not get that against Italy.


Belgium v Republic of Ireland (Bordeaux, 14:00 BST)

Belgium lost their opening game against Italy but they will still expect to win their remaining matches.

Like lots of teams, they struggled to break down the Italians and I think the Republic of Ireland will try to shut them out too.

I am going to go for another draw for Martin O’Neill’s side.

The Republic actually played really well for a large part of their game against Sweden, especially going forward, so it was a huge disappointment for them that they failed to win it.

Lawro’s pre-tournament picks – Going through: Belgium and Italy Third place: Sweden Going home: Republic of Ireland



Iceland v Hungary (Marseille, 17:00 BST)

On paper, these were the two weakest teams in the group but Hungary opened with a shock win over Austria and Iceland surprised me too by holding Portugal.

Another win for Hungary would effectively send them through but, based on what I have seen so far, I am going to go with Iceland.


Portugal v Austria (Paris, 20:00 BST)

A few people saw Austria as dark horses in this tournament but they were disappointing against Hungary and I am still not sure where their goals will come from.

I still see Portugal as real contenders, however, despite them being held by Iceland. It was a similar game to England against Russia in that Portugal should have had it won by half-time.

Lawro’s pre-tournament picks – Going through: Portugal and Austria Third place: Hungary Going home: Iceland

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