France, Iceland, Portugal

The UEFA European Championship field is narrowed to eight. Two-time defending champion Spain is gone, and tournament rookie Iceland dispatched powerhouse England.

The two remaining brackets tell completely different stories. On one side features three past winners, Germany, Italy and France, who hold six of 14 total titles. The opposite side features no past champions and two squads outside of the top 25 in the world.

Here is a breakdown of each quarterfinal:

Poland vs. Portugal, Marseille
Thursday, 6/30, 3:00 p.m. EDT

Cristiano Ronaldo

World No. 27 Poland finds itself in the quarterfinals due to the stellar goalkeeping of Łukasz Fabiański. The current first choice for Swansea City has held his own filling in for injured Wojciech Szczęsny. He has kept three clean sheets, including a group stage 0-0 tie with world champion Germany. Poland has just managed three goals of its own, with superstar and captain Robert Lewandowski yet to find the back of the net.

Portugal has its own struggles, as the fourth-highest ranked side in Europe barely made it out of the group stage. Cristiano Ronaldo seems to finally be in form after a two-goal performance versus Hungary in Game 3. However, his hard work up front was not rewarded in Portugal's most recent contest, as he failed to score in a 1-0 win over Croatia. Portugal seemed content with heading to penalties until a moment of wonder on a counter-attack in the 117th minute allowed substitute Ricardo Quaresma to hammer home a game-winner. Portugal must control the pace of play and keep Lewandowski out of rhythm to advance. If it trails early, an equalizer will be extremely difficult to come by, even with Ronaldo.

Prediction: Portugal 1-0

Belgium vs. Wales, Lille
Friday, 7/1, 3:00 p.m. EDT

Eden Hazard

World No. 2 Belgium is loaded with talent. Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku have been dubbed "The Golden Generation of Belgian Football." The Red Devils fell to Italy in the opening game of the tournament, but they have not been tested since. Belgium enters the quarterfinals extremely confident after a 4-0 thrashing of Hungary, but the squad cannot look past Wales. Belgium has to beat itself to not make it out of this weak half of the bracket.

Wales enters this game with nothing to lose, which reflects the way it has played this tournament. Ranked No. 26 in the world, Wales was not expected to advance past the group stage. Before Euro 2016, Wales had not qualified for a major international tournament since the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Wales is a fiery group led emotionally by captain Ashley Williams. However, its play on the field is run through Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale, arguably the top player of the tournament. Wales enters the game with the second most goals in the tournament ... behind Belgium.

Prediction: Belgium in PKs 1-1 (5-4)

Germany vs. Italy, Bordeaux
Saturday, 7/2, 3:00 p.m. EDT

Thomas Muller

Questions clouded Germany entering the tournament with the retirement of former captain Phillip Lahm and the injury woes of current captain Bastian Schweinsteiger. The World Cup champs have answered their critics in a big way, going undefeated without conceding a goal so far behind Manual Neuer. Boss Joachim Löw has juggled the lineup upfront with Mario Götze and Mario Gómez balancing time at striker. The squad looks more comfortable with Gómez in the lineup, as he opens up considerable space for Thomas Muller in a way the younger Götze is trying to figure out.

Italy, traditionally a powerhouse, came in with lower expectations than usual. The team lacks a threat up front and quality in the midfield, and the defense is past its prime. Italy has proven the haters wrong, winning three of four contests in convincing fashion, sitting most starters for the final group stage match (the loss). The ageless wonder Gianluigi Buffon has yet to concede a goal in the tournament. Buffon's Juventus teammates Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli have been steady defenders in front of him. Manager Antonio Conte, who will be leaving the national team to coach Chelsea after this tournament, has proved himself a master tactician. Italy’s run should come to an end versus Germany, but even then, it can deem the tournament a success.

Prediction: Germany wins 1-0

France vs. Iceland, Saint-Denis
Sunday, 7/3, 3:00 p.m. EDT

Olivier Giroud

France is unbeaten in Euro 2016, but it is not oozing with confidence. The host nation squeaked out one-goal victories over Romania and Ireland. It failed to score in a 0-0 draw versus Switzerland. France has not faced a true quality opponent this tournament, and Iceland is not breaking that trend. Captain Hugo Lloris is strong in goal, but defense is a weakness. Striker Olivier Giroud has been awful since scoring in the opening game, and without Karim Benzema, who was suspended for the tournament by the French Football Federation, there is no strong offensive alternative. There have been two bright spots: Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann. Both midfielders have turned in sensational efforts thus far, proving to be lethal threats on the offensive half. Les Bleus might be able to advance past the quarterfinals on talent alone, but they must find consistency if they hope to win the tournament.

Then there is Iceland. At No. 34 in the world, Iceland is the lowest-ranked team to make the quarterfinals since Greece in 2004. Iceland is fond of the comparison because the Greeks, then ranked No. 35 in the world, went on to win the tournament. With nothing to lose, and tremendous confidence following a shocking upset of England, which cost Roy Hodgson his job, Iceland will play aggressively and passionately. But the Saint-Denis setting is probably too much.

Prediction: France wins 3-0

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Follow Jack Minton on Twitter @jackminton95.