I don't think anybody would have expected me to be saying this before this game but we are going into it in a position where a win for either team guarantees qualification to the knockout phase. So that makes this a vital to both teams who will both be going all out for the win. Germany by far have the better team on paper but can Northern Ireland pull of a famous victory? I have my doubts but it would be an absolutely amazing story, especially if Poland win the other game too, it would be madness!
Northern Ireland will come into this game full of confidence after dispatching Ukraine in the last game 2-0 and causing arguably the biggest shock of the tournament. They played brilliantly against Ukraine and deserved the victory. It would be very easy for me to sit here and slam how badly Ukraine played and yes they didn't turn up however, Northern Ireland did everything right and deserve praise for how they approached the game and managed to win it so fair play to Michael O'Neill and his boys.
Germany come into this game after a result that will not have been viewed as positive at all from their point of view. Drawing 0-0 with Poland was not what they had planned and in all honesty Poland could and maybe should have won the game. They hit the post early in the second half and it could've been curtains for the world champions. Germany will want to shrug that off and slam a few goals past Northern Ireland to get the confidence going again and they're definitely capable of doing that.
Northern Ireland will surely play on the counter attack and hope they can get a set piece or a quick smash and grab goal. They simply aren't good enough to go toe to toe with Germany but they'll be hoping to complete a famous Euro giant killing and it will be remembered forever if they do.
This seems like a no brainer. I personally want the Northern Ireland fairytale to continue but Germany are an amazing team and ability wise they should destroy Northern Ireland. Michael O'Neills men may be able to keep them at bay for a while but you would expect Germany to turn on the style and see this game out to guarantee qualification to the knockout phase.
This lad has scored tonnes of free kicks at club level since coming through the youth ranks at Manchester United and if Northern Ireland manage to manufacture a decent opportunity for him to take a free kick. It could result in their only goal of the game and sit on that goal and defend it for the rest of the tie.
We have only had one 3 niller so far in the Spain v Turkey game but I feel like this one could go tat way too. Its not that Michael O'Neills boys are terrible but Germany will have a point to prove after the Poland game and they always pull it out of the bag when it is needed, not to mention their top quality players. Sorry but this will probably be a footballing lesson.
I'd be very surprised if Northern Ireland make it to half time without conceding a goal, anything is possible but can they keep the Germans at bay for 45 minutes? I would say no, it seems like such a foregone conclusion to me.
Muller has not hit the heights of previous tournaments but you feel that all it will take is one goal and he will be flying again. What better game to get a bit of confidence back than this one? Germany should create a hatful of chances and who better to stick them away than the Bayern Munich man? Muller could even get a few in this game if he plays his cards right.
This is a mixture of an inside tip and a bit of a punt. Gareth McAuley scores a surprising amount of goals for his country, he currently has 8 goals in 63 caps which for a centre back playing for a team that doesn't score an awful amount of goals is pretty good. He scored in the last game and is a constant threat from set pieces. His odds will be astronomical so he has to be worth a couple of quid at least right? He will feel good, you will feel good and the neutrals will love it.