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 By PA Sport

Republic of Ireland can write 'new chapter' vs. France - Shane Long

A happy Martin O'Neill was in jovial mood on Thursday as the Republic of Ireland manager reflected on his team's 1-0 win over Italy at Euro 2016.
Martin O'Neill said his side "played some phenomenal stuff" in the Republic of Ireland's 1-0 win over Italy and joked that getting a win over France in the round of 16 would be "easy".

Shane Long is hoping the Republic of Ireland can write a new chapter in the nation's footballing history against France on Sunday after already earning their place in Irish folklore.

Long and most of his teammates were just boys when Ireland exploded on to the world stage at Italia 1990 and in the United States four years later, but they ensured their own feats too will be remembered by beating Italy on Wednesday night to secure their passage to the last 16 at Euro 2016.

However not content with...

Euro round of 16 pits England, France, Spain, Italy and Germany in one half

The ESPN panel break down the round of 16 fixtures at Euro 2016.

PARIS -- This is where it begins in earnest: a straight knockout draw to crown the European champion.

What jumps out at you while looking at the Round of 16 is the apparent lopsidedness. Germany, Spain, England, Italy and France are all in the same half of the draw. Put another way, you can count 11 World Cups and 10 European Championships among the teams in this half, all competing against each other for one spot in the final. And, in the other half, you have the likes of Belgium, Wales and Portugal.

"It's...