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Euro 2016: 26 June 2016; Live Open Thread

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

The knockout stages of the 2016 European Championships are officially underway, and in truth, they've been something of a disappointment. Yesterday's matches were all close-fought encounters, but the majority of the games were devoid of any real action and excitement. If you strip away Xherdan Shaqiri's wondergoal from outside the area, the matches were, well, forgettable. Portugal stumbled through against an under-performing Croatia; Wales needed an own goal to see off Northern Ireland while Poland had to wait for penalties to dispatch Switzerland.

Hopefully today's matches will bring a little more entertainment. Up first, we have the hosts France, who as winners of Group A have been paired against Republic of Ireland in a mouth-watering Round of 16 showdown. With Thierry Henry's handball very much on their minds, Ireland will be out for revenge. The only question is, do they have enough quality to trouble the likes of Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and company?

The second match of the day will see the World champions in action, as Germany take on Slovakia in Lille. The World Cup winners haven't exactly set this tournament alight just yet, with Thomas Muller in particular struggling to replicate his usually excellent international form, but they are still heavy favourites to progress to the next round. Slovakia stymied England in the group stage, but lacked any real offensive threat -- and the chances are, this one will be something of a procession for the Germans.

Then, finally, we have arguably the least interesting match of the day, as Belgium square off with Hungary in Toulouse. The winner of this match will book their place in a quarter-final against Wales, and frankly, that whole side of the draw is looking rather dull.

That's the line-up for today, stick around and comment on all the action right here.

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