Qualification from Group C is on a knife-edge with all four sides still in with a shout. Listen to the songs, vote on which you prefer, and click below the cut for managerial comment, analysis, and previews.

How to vote: Simply vote for the track you like best in each match. If you download, please try and vote! (You will need to press the “vote” button separately in each game.) And remember, Group B is also still active until Monday!

France v Italy: Which of these tracks do you prefer? [ballot]

  • France: Melissa Mars 64%
  • Italy: FPI Project 36%

Total Voters: 28

Poll closes: 29 May 2008 @ 12:00

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Holland v Romania: Which of these tracks do you prefer? [ballot]

  • Holland: Johan 57%
  • Romania: Simplu 43%

Total Voters: 23

Poll closes: 29 May 2008 @ 12:00

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FRANCE: Melissa Mars – “Apocalips”

The manager says: “This is it folks, no turning back! If we don’t win this round, we’re going home, despite the manager’s efforts to find French songs in Miami and in a castle in Scotland, and I won’t be happy! You wouldn’t want me to be unhappy, not in France! They will hit me with baguettes on the team bus! Vive La France!”

Our analyst says: The French side seem to have finally clicked, in time for what might be their toughest game – will it be too late? Confident, attacking play, bursting forward from the midfield in support of a striker prone to technical lapses but with an eye for goal. A classically Gallic approach, this, which will please loyal fans but may not be enough to ensure qualification.

ITALY: FPI Project – “Everybody (All Over The World)”

The manager says: “This is the Popazzuri’s most direct, attacking formation so far. I’ve got to give credit to the lads for throwing everything they had against a strong Romanian side, but we’re going back to basics against France, with one of the sounds we gave the world. This time, we’re throwing every euphoric house piano forward, with a smattering of carnivalesque brass and the odd diva sample thrown in for good measure. Forza!”

Our analyst says: Italy’s fluid play builds from the back, and you get the feeling the goals could come from almost anywhere. Some of their set-piece tactics are perhaps a little over-familiar, but they won’t be relying on them too heavilyto get the point they need here.

HOLLAND: Johan – “Pergola”

The manager says: “OK then.  You want voetbal?  We’ll give you a group that named itself after the Netherlands’ own Johan Cruijff.  Tired of the same old Euro-technopop?  Johan gives you what the Dutch do best: guitar-driven pop with a twist of the sardonic.”

Our analyst says: Pop purists may be appalled by Holland’s approach here, eschewing Total Pop in favour of packing the midfield with gritty reducers – but if it gets them the win they need the manager won’t care.

ROMANIA: Simplu – “Mr. Originality”

The manager says: “I’m very impressed with the way my boys (well, actually actually one girl and three boys, to be precise) have handled themselves so far in the tournament – we’re an inexperienced side but they went out against way more experienced French & Italian opposition and more than held their own. Two draws suggest that we’ve been playing a touch on the defensive side so far, and we need goals to get us through, so we’ve decided to that the time has come to throw caution to the wind with a clearer attacking game. All of Romania is behind Simplu, and we’re hoping that Mr Originality can score the goals we need!”

Our analyst says: The European game is strewn with teams who’ve tried to imitate Western Hemisphere tactics and come a serious cropper. On this showing Romania won’t be joining them – this is strong, attacking football but without the defensive naivety which often characterises European attempts to play in this style.

COMING NEXT… Greece and Sweden hold an advantage in Group D: Greece will qualify with a single point against Spain, and a draw for Sweden against Russia would make qualification almost certain. Anything other than a win for Russia and Spain will send them home, and in Spain’s case they need to beat Greece by several clear goals. Who will hold their nerve and who will break? Find out on Tuesday.