Euro 2016: Wales vs Northern Ireland - Live stream info, probable line-up, head to head (h2h) record and match preview
Wales and Northern Ireland square off at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris in the second game of the round of 16 of the UEFA Euro 2016. The Dragons qualified for the knockouts having topped Group B, with convincing victories against Slovakia and Russia. Chris Coleman's side suffered their only defeat against neighbours England, but they forced the Three Lions to settle for a second place finish. Northern Ireland on the other hand, finished third in their group courtesy of their remarkable 2-0 win over Ukraine. Norn Iron also showed great defensive resilience in the defeats to Poland and Germany as they restricted the damage to progress to the knockouts.
Chris Coleman’s side have rode on the brilliance of superstar Gareth Bale, who has scored in all of the three football games so far. Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey also came to the party in the final group game against Russia and the duo will be key to the Dragons’ hopes of going further in the tournament.
Gareth McAuley and Niall McGinn’s goals helped Northern Ireland record their first ever win at the European Championship against Ukraine, while Michael McGovern’s heroics against Germany was one of the best exhibits of goalkeeping so far in this tournament.
The Dragons hold the edge over Norn Iron and they will be looking to extend their current eight-game unbeaten run – which dates back to 1980.
Wales manager Chris Coleman has warned his side about the physicality of Northern Ireland and has even underlined the threat they possess from set-pieces. He said: "Northern Ireland are more physical than Turkey. They get the ball forward quicker. That's where their strength is.
"They are superbly organised and defensively so difficult to break down. They are excellent from set-plays. There's no talk in my camp about who could be next. There are dangers and challenges in any fixture we get."
The 46-year-old has also hailed his side’s performance in the game against Russia but has reiterated that the most important thing is to focus on the upcoming game.
“The last performance was outstanding, but it's all about tomorrow. We can't think about anything else. There's not a team in this tournament who can think past the next game. Nine times out of ten, the games are very close. It's one game and it's all about tomorrow. It's about getting our mind right.”
Michael O’Neill, the manager of Northern Ireland, has urged his side to understand the significance of the game and rise up to the occasion. He also opined that the clash against Wales will be akin to a cup tie.
O’Neill said: "I want my team to play with loads of emotion; I want them to fully understand the significance of the game. When you look at our performances, especially in the latter two games, you couldn't question the effort of the team from the first minute to the last minute. I don't think you can play without emotion. I don't expect my team to and I think it will be a big factor in the game tomorrow night.
“It will be like a cup tie, but whether it's like a Premier League team going to a Championship team...that's irrelevant. The main importance is that we make it a cup tie. We were bottom of the simulation rankings and we're proud of that. We have an English referee and we want everything that is good about the British game in it."
Live Stream and Kick-off time
The match will be live from 21:30 IST (Saturday), 17:00 BST (Saturday). Watch live streaming of Iceland vs Austria on SonyLIV. Follow Wales vs Northern Ireland, Euro 2016 Live Score and Commentary with Sportskeeda. The match will be telecasted live on Sony Six and Sony Six HD in India, Fox Sports in the USA and Premier Sports in the UK. The match will be played at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
Chris Coleman has a fully fit squad to select his starting XI from, but he is not expected to make too many changes with the only headache facing the 46-year-old being to select a partner for Gareth Bale. Ben Davies and Sam Vokes are a booking away from getting suspended for the next game.
O’Neill is expected to stick with the same starting line-up, which he used in the loss to Germany and the win over Ukraine. For Norn Iron, Stuart Dallas, Jamie Ward, Craig Cathcart or Jonny Evans will miss the quarter-final, if they receive another booking.
Wales: Hennessey; Gunter, Chester, Williams, Davies, Taylor; Allen, Ledley; Ramsey, Bale; Robson-Kanu.:
Northern Ireland: McGovern; Hughes, McAuley, Cathcart, J Evans; Baird, Davis, Norwood, Ward, Dallas; Lafferty.
Form guide (Most recent first)
Coming into the tournament on the back of two consecutive losses to Sweden and Ukraine, Wales have managed to win two of their three games so far and will be looking to send home the Green and White Army.
Northern Ireland: LWLDW
Norn Iron have won two and lost two out of their last five games with the victories coming in games against Ukraine and Belarus.
Head to Head record
Wales are unbeaten in their last eight games against Northern Ireland, winning four and drawing four. The last defeat came at Cardiff in May 1980 when Noel Brotherston’s goal was enough to hand Norn Iron a 1-0 win.
Wales have the better head to head record having won 44 of the 95 games that the two have contested, while Northern Ireland have registered 25 wins.
The two teams are separated by a solitary ranking with Northern Ireland at 25 and Wales at 26.
In their last encounter in March, Craig Cathcart’s opener was cancelled out by a late penalty by Simon Church.
Wales come into the game on the back of brilliant performance in the 3-0 win over Russia. Led by Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey the Dragons are expected to breeze past Northern Ireland. But, Norn Iron have showed the grit required to cause an upset in their 2-0 win over Ukraine. We predict a 3-1 win for Wales.