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Euro 2016: What To Expect From Group C

Germany's midfielder Thomas Mueller (13) celebrates after scoring 1-0 during the Euro 2016 qualifying football match between Germany and Poland in Frankfurt am Main, central Germany, on September 4, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND (Photo credit should read DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)

In part three of our Euro 2016 countdown we take a look at Group B, which is home to Germany, Northern Ireland, Poland and Ukraine.

Group C hosts the World Cup Champions, who Germany try and emulate the achievements of France in 2000 and Spain in 2012, by adding the European Championships to their World Cup glory. Of course in the case of Spain they had won their third major tournament in a row including back to back European Championships.

Germany are joined by Northern Ireland, Poland and Ukraine in Group C in what is likely to be a foregone conclusion for first place and an enthralling battle for second place. Germany and Poland meet again after finishing first and second in Group D, with Ireland just behind in third.

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Germany

Three times European Championship winners, Germany will be feeling the pressure to bring home the trophy after being crowned World Champions in 2014. They will have to put an unimpressive qualifying campaign behind them to do so.

The Germans looked very susceptible at the back, conceding nine goals in their ten games. Considering they held Gibraltar scoreless across both ties and only conceded one to Georgia, eight goals against is a poor return from the remaining six games.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - OCTOBER 08:  (L-R) Thomas Muller, Kevin Volland and Andre Schurrle of Germany applaud the fans after defeat in the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier group D match between Republic of Ireland and Germany at the Aviva Stadium on October 8, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

The World Cup winners only saw off Poland by one point to win Group D but they will be short odds favourites to finish ahead of their foes again as they have a squad full of accomplished winners, who thrive on the biggest stage. The Germans open up as joined favourites with the host nation France.

Player To Watch: Thomas Muller

Prediction: quarter finals

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Northern Ireland

In their first major competition in 30 years, Northern Ireland qualified top of their group – suffering only one hiccup along the way, a defeat on the road to Romania. Spirits will be high en route to France, with Northern Ireland still bouncing from their 3-1 victory over Greece which saw them top Group F. Euro 2004 Champions Greece, had a dismal qualifying campaign, picking up just one win but still proved a tough opponent for Northern Ireland in a must win game.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - OCTOBER 8:  Northern Ireland players celebrate clinching qualification after the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier between Northern Ireland and Greece at Windsor Park on October 8, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Much will hinder on the goals of Kyle Lafferty, who has been in flying form at international level, despite failing to find his feet at club level, since leaving Rangers in 2012. Northern Ireland cannot rely on the goals of one player however, and will look to their captain Steven Davis and their senior players to shine.

Player To Watch: Kyle Lafferty

Prediction: round of 16

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Poland

Poland were the top scoring team in qualifiers, with 33 goals in their ten games, and only England had an overall better goal difference. Poland still missed out on first place to Germany in a very closely fought group. They will be looking to exact revenge on their neighbours, who they already managed to beat in qualifying.

Poland’s goal scoring prowess is due to their high pressing style of football. The pressure gave Germany troubles when the sides met in September but the Germans seemed to outclass their opponents when they met again in October.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 08: Robert Lewandowski of Poland celebrates after he scores during the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier between Scotland and Poland at Hampden Park on October 08, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty)

Poland, who have qualified for the last two European Championships, have yet to pick up a win in the competition, finishing last in both groups they were in. With the new format to the competition and Poland’s recent form, they will fancy their chances of progressing past the group stages at this attempt.

Player To Watch: Robert Lewandowski

Prediction: round of 16

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Ukraine

Ukraine qualified through the play-offs, after comfortably beating Slovenia at home in the first leg. A football nation who has been formed since the last time Northern Ireland competed at a major competition. A relatively new team will prepare themselves to meet a team from a different generation. Ukraine have just moved onto their second generation of players since their formation and they have unearthed some quality yet again.

MARIBOR, SLOVENIA - NOVEMBER 17:  Andriy Yarmolenko of Ukraine celebrates his goal and qualification with Artem Fedetskiy during the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier play-off second leg match between Slovenia and Ukraine at Ljudski Vrt Stadium on November 17, 2015 in Maribor, Slovenia.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

After finishing third in Group C, Ukraine will take some positives from a handful of outstanding performances. They will have no shame in finishing behind Spain, who topped the group. Germany, Poland and Northern Ireland will prove to be an extremely tough group to get out of.

Player To Watch: Andriy Yarmolenko

Prediction: group stages

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.