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Preview: Northern Ireland v Germany

"These are the moments you cherish," said Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill ahead of his team's meeting with world champions Germany, who are contemplating changes.

Northern Ireland go through their paces in training on Monday
Northern Ireland go through their paces in training on Monday ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Germany and Northern Ireland meet at Parc des Princes in final round of Group C games
  • Germany have four points and need draw to make sure of reaching last 16
  • Northern Ireland, on three, registered first EURO finals win against Ukraine on matchday two
  • Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill: "These are the moments you cherish"
  • Debutants guaranteed to finish third at least; victory would take them into round of 16

Possible line-ups
Northern Ireland: McGovern; Hughes, McAuley, Cathcart, J Evans; Ward, C Evans, Davis, Norwood, Dallas; Washington.
Misses next match if booked: Cathcart, Dallas, Evans, Ward

Germany: Neuer; Höwedes, Boateng, Hummels, Hector; Kroos, Khedira; Özil, Götze, Schürrle; Müller.
Misses next match if booked: Boateng, Khedira, Özil

Coach quotes
Michael O'Neill, Northern Ireland

This is as tough a game as we'll get at any point in the tournament, but the prize is massive – the potential to go to the round of 16. If we can take something from the game – three points or one – we would be in a very strong position. [We must] approach the game in a similar fashion as we did against Ukraine.

Gareth McAuley's pride after Ukraine victory
Gareth McAuley's pride after Ukraine victory

[The players] are really up for it. There's a real sense of excitement and they've recovered well. I think you go into the game full of confidence given the level of performance and the result against Ukraine. Their individual performances on the night were all fantastic as well, so they're in the right frame of mind. These are the moments you really cherish and I've no doubt that our players will take that attitude into the game and perform on the night.

Thomas Schneider, Germany assistant
We have always stated that we want to finish top of our group, so whether or not our place in the last 16 is confirmed [on Monday], it will have no impact on our line-up.

We respect our opposition. Northern Ireland didn't qualify as a best third-placed side; they had a great qualification campaign and won their group.

It is quite possible that there will be one or more changes to the line-up regardless. And sure, we've spoken about moving Thomas Müller up front. Is it going to happen? You will have to wait and see.
Joachim Löw missed the press conference as he has a cold

UEFA.com team reporters
Graham Little, Northern Ireland (@UEFAcomGrahamL)
Having made five changes for the Ukraine game, including dropping top scorer Kyle Lafferty, O'Neill reminded everyone that no places are guaranteed. Requiring a point to make progress from the group very likely, O'Neill should field the same strong running team and formation as against Ukraine. Lafferty will have benefited from missing out and could trade places with Conor Washington.

Boateng bemoans lacklustre Germany display
Boateng bemoans lacklustre Germany display

Steffen Potter, Germany (@UEFAcomSteffenP)
Germany want to win the group so in all likelihood need a win against Northern Ireland. As Löw puts it, "we only know the route to Lille" – where the Group C winners play. An element of squad rotation is in the offing, but what that constitutes is hard to predict. Thomas Müller could take a more central position and I think Julian Draxler is going to lose his spot. It will be interesting to see if this leads to more German chances and a rediscovery of the attacking verve they had in the first match.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Northern Ireland: WLDWWDWDWD

Did you know?
Northern Ireland goalkeeping coach Maik Taylor was born in Hildesheim, Germany, in 1971 to a German mother. A Werder Bremen fan growing up, he won the first of his 88 caps against the country of his birth in March 1999. Find out more in our extensive match background.

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