Getting into this stage of the tournament some big teams remain, and also some surprises. This post is to tell you all about why we shouldn't just expect the favourites to win every game and why we could see a few upsets during this round of 16.
1. They got this far.
For perhaps smaller Nations like Wales and Iceland as well as both Northern and the Republic of Ireland it is incredible that they have got this far in the tournament. This puts them at a huge advantage because it allows them to play without fear as they are already over exceeding expectation. They can go out and focus on the football. This differs to many bigger Nations like Spain and Germany because they have the added pressure put upon them that they are expected to win. They are expected to over power teams and are heavily criticised every time they don't do this. As well as this the prospect of getting further in the competition and making history for their nation will lead to a much more passionate performance from the smaller nations. They will be fighting for every ball and meaning every pass and shot more than some teams who may be taking the smaller side for granted, leading to opportunities and unexpected results.
2. Every team has talent
Another factor which could contribute to some big upsets is that every team has big names capable of changing matches. For example most notably Wales who have Gareth Bale, joint top goal scorer so far at the tournament and he will be looking to add to this in every game which he gets an opportunity. Even teams like Iceland and the Republic of Ireland have players who feature week in week out in the Premier League who are strong enough to compete against bigger teams. All it take is for one player to score early against a favourite side and the whole game and maybe tournament can turn on it's head. Teams like Germany will have to play under pressure where they have to get goals and they may struggle to do this.
3. The fans believe
Obviously not a direct link to success, but the difference in having 20,000 fans behind you in a stadium can make a huge difference. It can motivate players to work harder and give their all because they know how much it mean to their fans. For example look how passionate the Iceland fans were. We've all seen the video of their commentator going crazy, and in my opinion fans getting behind a team is certainly a factor which an help smaller teams beat bigger ones.
Obviously not every favourite is going to lose, but potentially they could, and above are a few reasons why. We are at a stage in the tournament where better sides can be knocked out simply because they don't perform on the day, and smaller sides can be victorious. It's always much more entertaining when the small teams do well ,so in a way I hope they do all win, as I'm sure there fans will want them too as well.