Euro 2016 quarter-finals: Who are Malaysian legends’ pick for the semis?

Former Malaysian internationals provided their predictions for the Euro 2016 last eight, unanimously giving underdogs Wales and Iceland no chance of continuing their fairytale run in the competition. 

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Portugal vs Poland

Santokh Singh: Portugal

Portugal because they are a better side than Poland. Portugal play with a better tempo and are improving by the game. They didn’t start so well but you can’t just pick on Cristiano Ronaldo solely. The team is not just about him as they have other good players too. Poland are no pushovers, but I feel Portugal will click.

Dollah Salleh: Poland

I want Portugal to win but I think Poland will emerge tops. The Polish are looking more solid as a team. Portugal’s problem is Ronaldo … every ball goes to him and he hasn’t really been effective. I wonder if he is still injured and actually playing through pain. Yet I have to say the prospect of going up against him for the Poland defenders will be scary whether or not he is performing.

N. Thanabalan: Portugal

I think Portugal are coming into form. They left it till late in the round of 16 but Croatia are a tough team too. I disagree that Portugal are a one-man team because you have got players like Nani and Ricardo Quaresma playing well too. So even if Ronaldo is not up to mark, the rest have what it takes …they just need some confidence instead of making Ronaldo the focal point.

Zainal Abidin Hassan: Portugal

It'll be close and Portugal seem to be getting more effective as the tournament progresses. Poland are playing more as a unit and as we have seen in the competition already, that wins you matches. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Poland win but I suspect Portugal will somehow nick this.

Wales vs Belgium

Santokh Singh: Belgium

On paper Belgium are the favourites but I don’t think it will be an easy win … though they will prevail at the end of day. Wales are very hardworking and have already done a fantastic job to reach this far, but Belgium are more systematic and superior in most departments.

Dollah Salleh: Belgium

Belgium … If Eden Hazard can play like he did in the last game again, they’ll walk through to the semi-final. Everyone was wary of Belgium at the start of the competition but they were written off after the first game didn’t go so well. Yet they now have the momentum and are clicking as a team.

N. Thanabalan: Belgium

I’m picking Belgium for a convincing win by at least two goals. The Welsh are hardworking but everything seems to depend on Gareth Bale. Compare that to how equipped Belgium are in every area.

Zainal Abidin Hassan: Belgium

Belgium have what it takes. There is so much of talent all over the pitch that this will be Wales' greatest test thus far, one that could be too much for them to handle.

Germany vs Italy

Santokh Singh: Germany

Italy are defending fantastically at the moment but the Germans have that penetrating force you need to win matches. Joachim Low’s side are good at set-pieces, at the top, in defence and have the best goalkeeper in the world. They will run into problems but should have enough to see them through.

Dollah Salleh: Germany

No doubt the tie of the round. I’m going for Germany but only giving them a slight edge. No one really spoke about Italy prior to the competition, like in previous tournaments actually, but here they are after comfortably sending defending champions Spain home.

The Italian are very tough and have Gianluigi Buffon’s experience in goal but Germany are a more complete team. Though, I’m surprised Thomas Muller has not been banging in the goals like in the last World Cup.

N. Thanabalan: Italy

It’s tough to call … Germany appear a more complete side but again, it can go either way. The Italians will have confidence after the way they kept Spain in check in the last round and I suspect they will approach the game in the same manner, only this time they’ll be up against a much stronger defence.

Zainal Abidin Hassan

I can't call this. I don’t think it’ll be as one-sided as the Spain-Italy match but it will be exciting. Both teams can undo each other and like the Spain match, it will depend on who turns up. Germany have always been solid and disciplined, but so are the Italians.

France vs Iceland

Santokh Singh: France

I like how Iceland have been hardworking and the way they go all out when attacking and defending but I’ll go for France. The home ground advantage will see France emerge victorious.

Dollah Salleh: France

France, for sure! They have the players and home ground advantage. Their performance may still be below par but they have players who can get something out of nothing. Iceland are all about their fighting spirit and don’t really have the players to go far. Yet I’m sure France won’t underestimate their opponents like how England did.

N. Thanabalan: France

Iceland’s run will come to an end. They are fighters indeed but I have little doubt France will have the edge and keep their hopes of winning the trophy in front of their fans alive.

Zainal Abidin Hassan: France

Unlike England, France have not been so poor. I think they still have a bit more to do in terms of reaching their full potential but they have already shown they can find the back of the net against defensive minded teams.