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 […]

With the UEFA EURO 2016 kicking off on Friday, here’s a look at the teams from Group C featuring World Champions Germany, in-form Northern Ireland, big game performers Ukraine and tournament dark horses Poland. Highlights  – World champions Germany are the favourites to top the group followed by Poland who have been very impressive in the qualifying campaign. Having said that, Ukraine and Northern Ireland are more than capable of springing a surprise. Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil, Liverpool midfielder Emre Can and Bayern Munich duo Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer are some of the prominent faces that will feature in this group. Germany It has now become a tradition for Germany to breeze through the qualification stages, lose a couple of friendlies before a tournament and reach the semi-finals. This time around, Die Mannschaft endured a turbulent qualifying campaign and lost more than a couple of friendlies suggesting that the road won’t be too easy for them. Nevertheless, they are being considered as one of […]