Fans descend on Paris for Wales' crunch knockout clash against Northern Ireland


Thousands of supporters have descended on Paris ahead of Wales' crunch Euro 2016 knockout clash against Northern Ireland on Saturday.

Eurostar services from Britain have been heavily booked, and flights from Cardiff and Belfast sold out, with at least three extra charters laid on from Belfast International Airport.

The Parc des Princes will be the backdrop to the home nations' face-off when Northern Ireland face a Welsh team hot off their 3-0 thrashing of Russia.

Northern Ireland succumbed 0-1 to Germany at the same venue during the final group stage match.

The bars of central Paris have begun to fill up with Welsh and Northern Irish fans and Eurostar services arriving at Gare du Nord in the capital on Friday evening were filled with optimistic football supporters.

Wales fan Greg Mason, 41, from London, said: "There's been good banter on the train with some Northern Ireland fans but I think we'll win tomorrow. Ramsey and Bale, 2-0."

Kevin Lee, 40, also from London, said: "We booked this ticket as soon as we knew Wales were heading to Paris. We weren't going to miss this for anything.

"Hopefully we'll get a result - we played so well against Russia so I'm confident."

The Republic of Ireland team is hoping to keep its fans' dreams alive when they meet hosts France in Lyon on Sunday.

Then on Monday, it is to the French Riviera for England and Iceland - where Roy Hodgson's men will hope to find the "je ne sais quoi" that eluded them in their 0-0 draw against Slovakia as they take on Iceland in Nice.