Monday night’s showdown at the Parc de Princes in Paris will be between two teams that came into this tournament amidst whispers of doubt. Surprisingly, the one team that still has to shoulder those doubts are the world champions Germany. Following a professional but nervy win over Ukraine and a drab draw against Poland, Germany find themselves at a very similar position to the one after the 2-2 draw with Ghana at the 2014 World Cup. That time, they laboured through till the QFs, recalled Miroslav Klose, and coasted to World Cup victory on the resulting second wind. It seems a similar epiphany needs to be at hand for Joachim Low if his charges are to progress beyond the semi-finals. For Northern Ireland, a fitful start can turn into a fairytale finish if they manage to take points from Germany and directly qualify for the knockout stages. A sobering defeat against Poland was followed up with a defiant backs-against-the-wall performance […]

It was an eventful night at the Euros as Spain delivered a power packed thumping performance against a lacklustre Turkish side that failed to deliver the goods, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic fails to register himself on the scoresheet against Italy. Croatia on the other hand may have jeopardised their qualification hopes by squandering what looked like an unassailable lead.