Thehas gripped the footballing world with a fantastically competitive group stage now reaching its crescendo.
, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Holland and Austria have sealed spots in the last-16. England have also booked a place after finishing top of Group D. However, it was heartache for Scotland who finished bottom with Croatia and Czech Republic qualifying in second and third.
The Czechs are a beneficiary of the expanded tournament – which we first saw at Euro 2016 – with 16 of the 24 teams qualifying for the round of 16, including the best four third-place sides in the group stage.
Tonight’s Group F fixtures, which will see giants France, Germany and Portugal fight it out with Hungary for the top three slots, round off a captivating group stage and they will finally seal the fate of all those third-placed teams.
Below, Sportsmail outlines the permutations for every team and explains just how qualification will work.
How does qualification work?
Before we delve into the group specifics, it’s important to first outline just how qualification works.
A 32-team World Cup format, for example, is more straightforward, with the top two teams from the eight groups progressing to the knockout stages.
However, in a copy of Euro 2016, there are six groups of four teams at this summer’s tournament, with the top two progressing from each, as well as the four best third-placed teams.
The standings in the group tables are first determined by who has the most points, but if two teams are level, then head-to-head record becomes the first tie-breaker to determine where they finish.
This is subsequently followed by goal difference and then goals scored in the matches between those teams in question, before overall goal difference, goals scored, wins and disciplinary records are taken into account.
Crucially, if the two teams in question are playing against each other on the final day and finish level on points, goals scored, goals conceded and they aren’t level with another team, their position will be determined via a penalty shootout.
Then comes the four best third-place finishers, which are determined by number of points, goal difference, goals scored, number of wins, disciplinary record and position in the overall European Qualifiers rankings – in that order.
So, how do things stand in each group?
Group A was finalised on Sunday evening, with Roberto Mancini’s Italy – who have emerged as one of the tournament favourites – coming out on top.
They beat Wales 1-0 on Sunday to clinch top spot, meaning they didn’t concede a single goal throughout the group stages.
Switzerland finished marginally below Wales in third on goal difference, but they are one of the four best third-placed teams to qualify. Turkey, on the other hand, are out.
In winning the group, Italy will play on Saturday, June 26 against the runners-up from Group C, which is Austria.
In finishing second, Wales will also play their last-16 match on Saturday night. They will come up against the runners-up of Group B, Denmark.
Italy topped Group A with victory over Wales on Sunday, with three wins from as many games
Roberto Mancini’s Italy finished top of Group A, with Turkey going home before the knockouts
Belgium joined Italy and Holland with a 100 per cent record at the Euros by beating Finland in their final Group B encounter on Monday night.
Belgium only needed a draw against Finland to secure top spot in the group but got a win thanks to Lukas Hradecky’s own goal and a Romelu Lukaku finish.
Finland’s defeat allowed Denmark to sneak second in the group as they thumped Russia 4-1. All three teams finished level on three points but the Danes finished as runners-up on account of a superior goal difference.
And with a tally of just three points, Finland are on the brink of crashing out of the tournament.
Despite not being fully fit, Kevin De Bruyne (right) has helped Belgium through to the last 16
Belgium topped Group B with a 100 per cent record, with Denmark scraping through in second
Holland had already qualified before Group C was completed on Monday and they rounded off the group stage by beating North Macedonia, while Austria edged past Ukraine 1-0 in the intriguing battle for second-place.
Unfortunately for North Macedonia, their 2-1 defeat by Ukraine last week ensured they became the first team to be eliminated from the tournament.
Holland already know they will be playing on Sunday, June 27 in their round of 16 clash, up against the third-placed finisher from either Group D, E or F. We won’t know who that will be until Wednesday night.
As for Austria, they will play Italy at Wembley on Saturday, June 26. Ukraine have to hope that they finish as one of the better third-placed sides with three points.
Memphis Depay has risen to the occasion with Holland booking their spot in the last-16
Holland won all their matches in Group C, while Austria qualified after beating Ukraine 1-0
Group D had a thrilling finale with nothing certain in the last round of fixtures.
England beat the Czech Republic 1-0 courtesy of Raheem Sterling’s early header to seal top spot in the table. They will now face either one of France, Germany or Portugal in the last 16.
Scotland needed to beat Croatia at Hampden Park to join England but they were on the end of a 3-1 defeat to see them bow out of the Euros.
The result saw Croatia finish as group runners-up ahead of the Czechs on goal difference – but the latter also qualified as one of the four best third-place finishers after reaching four points.
England topped Group D thanks to Raheem Sterling’s (centre) winner vs Czech Republic
England finished top of Group D with Croatia and Czech Republic also qualifying for the last 16
Group E is also set for a spectacular conclusion, with possibilities remaining for all four nations to claim a spot in the top two.
The conclusion of Group E will come on Wednesday, with Spain taking on Slovakia and Sweden playing Poland. Both matches kick off at 5pm.
Sweden have already all-but confirmed their participation in the round of 16 with four points in the bag, and a draw on Wednesday would guarantee their progression.
However, should Sweden lose and the other Group E finale end in a draw, they, Poland and Slovakia would all be tied for points and results.
As for second-placed Slovakia, they would qualify if they beat Spain – or with a draw, so long as Poland don’t beat Sweden.
Spain most likely need to win if they are to see the round of 16. A draw might just be enough as a third-place finisher, but Poland could still leapfrog them with victory – leaving the Spaniards fourth and out.
Finally, Poland can still finish second if they beat Sweden, providing Spain vs Slovakia does not result in a draw.
The winner of Group E will play the third-place side from Group A, B, C or D, while the runner-up will play the team that finished second in Group D, Croatia.
Spain have been one of the more disappointing teams, with just two points from two games
It’s Sweden who are currently the leaders of Group E, with Spain surprisingly in third place
Finally, we get to the ‘group of death’, which could see Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal bow out early, despite some spectacular displays from the Juventus star.
And again, none of the four teams have yet officially confirmed their place in the last-16, with each nation still able to progress.
The group was blown wide open on Saturday, with France drawing with Hungary in a shock result, while Germany beat Portugal 4-2 in a classic.
The group will be finalised on Wednesday, with France and Portugal going head-to-head, while Germany play Hungary. Both games kick off at 8pm.
It’s currently France who are in the lead, and they could guarantee their progression with a draw against Portugal, or if Germany vs Hungary ends a draw.
A win will take Germany through, and they could take top spot if they beat Hungary and France don’t beat Portugal. They could also finish third, however, if they lose and France win, or if they draw and Portugal win.
Hungary, meanwhile, will finish in second if they beat Germany and France emerge victorious against Portugal. Additionally, if they win and France lose, second-spot would go down to goal difference.
Should they beat Germany, while France vs Portugal ends in a draw, they could qualify in third.
The winner of the group will play the third-place team from Group A, B or C, while the runner-up will take on the winner of Group D, England.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the joint-top scorer at Euro 2020, but Portugal could yet bow out early
Hungary earned a shock draw with France on Saturday to keep their Group F hopes alive
The ‘group of death’ is certainly living up to its reputation, with a good chance Portugal could go out, while France and Germany are also not guaranteed a last-16 spot just yet
LAST-16 FIXTURES AND DATES
Saturday, June 26
- Wales vs Denmark (5pm, Amsterdam)
- Italy vs Austria (8pm, London)
Sunday, June 27
- Holland vs 3D/E/F (5pm, Budapest)
- Belgium vs 3A/D/E/F (8pm, Seville)
Monday, June 28
- Croatia vs 2E (5pm, Copenhagen)
- 1F vs 3A/B/C (8pm, Bucharest)
Tuesday, June 29
- England vs 2F (5pm, London)
- 1E vs 3A/B/C/D (8pm, Glasgow)
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