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Marcotti: Germany's striking conundrum

Germany
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Marcotti: Expect the unexpected

Euro 2016
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Super Mario Gomez might be just the throwback Germany needs to win Euro

Mario Gomez feels Germany can continue their football dominance if the team bonds like they did at the 2014 World Cup.

PARIS -- You wonder if, when Joachim Low recalled Mario Gomez to the German national side, he figured he might take him to the Euros and put him in some kind of transparent case with a sign saying BREAK GLASS IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.

We're talking the kind of emergency that occurs when you know you're going to be camped out in the opposition's final third and you need a battle-axe to break down the opposition's bus. It's what Germany experienced in each of their three group games. And it's what they...

Brexit and how the pound's value drop could affect Premier League transfers

As the dust settles on Britain's vote to leave the EU, Gab Marcotti assesses how the decision could affect football in Europe.

Opinion is still divided on the impact of Britain's exit from the European Union in the next six months to two years. In the narrower scope of football, there has been much fretting and hand-wringing over the impact the so-called Brexit vote will have on the Premier League and the fact that foreign players will require work permits, though a closer look reveals those fears are overstated.

In the short term, though, one effect we're already seeing is the pound crashing against the dollar and the...

Brexit vote to leave EU will impact the Premier League and its players

As the dust settles on Britain's vote to leave the EU, Gab Marcotti assesses how the decision could affect football in Europe.

The United Kingdom opting to leave the European Union (EU) -- AKA Brexit -- represents a massive, momentous twist in European history. But does leaving the EU actually affect the Premier League? The answer is, largely, no. Though there are some significant twists and, perhaps, some opportunities as well.

The UK may have voted to leave, but it's not as if trade agreements and principles lapse overnight. It could take anywhere from two to 10 years to fully disengage from the EU -- we're in uncharted...

Italy and Antonio Conte are smart to rotate for Euro 2016 clash vs. Ireland

ESPN FC's Bob Ley and Roberto Martinez analyse the latest Euro 2016 brackets, highlighted by Spain's clash against Italy.
Martin O'Neill expects Italy to make changes for their match against Ireland.

When Antonio Conte sends out his Italy side to face the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, he may well have just two holdovers from the Azzurri's last game: Alessandro Florenzi and Andrea Barzagli.

Italy have already mathematically clinched first place in Group E, so you can see his logic. He's dropping five guys (Gigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Eder and Daniele De Rossi) who are one yellow card away from a suspension, plus another, Antonio Candreva, who picked up a knock and...

Why Czech Republic vs. Turkey at Euro 2016 is an ode to game theory

The Exploding Heads discuss who they think will progress from groups C and D of the Euros with special guest Lee the cameraman.

The 24-team Euro has its critics, particularly in the current format. One of my ESPN colleagues asked very simple, but pertinent, questions: Why mess about with this four best third-place team format? Instead, why not simply take the top two from each of the six groups -- that's 12 in total -- and then split them: the top four first place teams would get a bye to the quarterfinals, the other two and the six second place teams would play in the Round of 16?

It's a perfectly valid idea. In fact, one...

Germany's attacking full-back and centre-forward conundrum

ESPN FC's Michael Ballack is looking for Germany to improve when they face Poland in their second game of Group C.

It's an odd byproduct of the German football miracle. Even as they've supplanted Spain (who themselves replaced France) as the supposed gold standard of football development, there remains an odd, unexplained mystery.

How has a nation of 80 million, one which clearly has the formula for churning out top notch talent, come up short in producing stars in two crucial positions, attacking full-back and centre-forward?

When Jogi Low's side line up against Poland on Thursday, their back four will feature...