The match fixtures are shown on a panel following the draw of the round of 16 soccer matches of the UEFA Champions League 2014/15 in Nyon, Switzerland, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. The final is scheduled for June 6 at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. (AP Photo/Keystone,Jean-Christophe Bott)

This year’s draw for the knockout stage has thrown up some tantalising games, including Manchester City’s clash with Barcelona and a tough encounter (...)

German  coach Joachim Löw  and assistant coach Thomas Schneider during  team training session in Berlin ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar  in Nuremberg on Friday. Photograph:  Lukas Schulze/EPA

World champions Germany will field their strongest team against Group D minnows Gibraltar in Friday’s Euro 2016 qualifier in Nuremberg, looking for (...)

 Republic of Ireland’s John O’Shea celebrates scoring the equaliser  against Germany in injury time. Photograph: Donall Farmer / Inpho

Football is not immune to fairytales but even the Brothers Grimm might have raised eyebrows at the manner in which Ireland concocted one of those fab(...)

German  coach Joachim Löw during the Euro 2016 Group D qualifier against Ireland in Gelsenkirchen. Photograph: Ina Fassbender / Reuters
German player ratings

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) 6/10 Until the last kick, only had one moment where his heart rate would have crept up at all – stretching time to(...)

John O’Shea (centre) of Ireland celebrates after scoring  the late equaliser against world champions Germany in   at Arena Auf Schalke in Gelsenkirchen. Photograph: Fredrik Von Erichsen / EPA

Germany 1 Republic of Ireland 1It seemed too much to ask for that Ireland might come to Germany’s old mining capital and somehow dig out a result but (...)

  André Schürrle out of tonight’s game against Ireland. Photograph: Joern Pollex/Getty Images

Chelsea midfielder André Schürrle has been ruled out of this evening’s qualifying game in Gelsenkirchen after coming down with a bout of flu. The 23 (...)

Bastian Schweinsteiger is sorely missed from the German engine room while Jonathan Walters could have a key role to play for Ireland tonight. Photograph:  Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images.

Ah, Poland. Nobody could begrudge them Saturday’s victory in Warsaw – you owed them, we understand – but it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the(...)

Stephen Ward, Thomas Müller and Jerome Boateng, seen here clashing at the Aviva Stadium two years ago, are all likely to feature in Gelsenkirchen tonight. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho. 1:34

Few teams could pull off holding their pre-match press conference in a sponsor’s car showroom while retaining their sense of superiority; but then, it(...)

 Christoph Kramer (front) of Germany during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D qualifying match against Poland. He misses the game against the Republic of Ireland with a stomach bug.   Bartlomiej Zborowski/EPA 2:19

Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer is out of tomorrow night’s European Championship qualifier against Ireland with the 23 year-old s(...)

The scale of the change in German football was underlined by the age profile of their World Cup-winning squad. Two of the players were barely out of t(...)