Wales' Gareth Bale shoots at goal
The two home nations will face each other in the knockout round of 16 at the European Championships in the French capital Paris in what is a highly-anticipated enounter.
Wales won their group containing England, Slovakia and Russia while Northern Ireland finished behind Poland and Germany in Group C and qualified as one of the best third-placed sides.
Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates scoring their first goal
Writing in his column for the Mirror, Savage has been impressed by both teams but feels the presence of Real Madrid star Gareth Bale gives Wales the edge as he backs Chris Coleman’s men to progress.
“Everyone loves Norther Ireland and their ”Will Grigg’s on fire” anthem. They have done amazingly well to come this far. Bags of spirit, good organisation, an amazing bunch of fans and a togetherness you can’t buy off the shelves in Tesco,” Savage explained.
“But Wales have got one trump card Northern Ireland can’t match: Gareth Bale. He has looked like the world’s most expensive footballer.”
“When Bale is on song, his national team is not little old Wales any more. It will come as no surprise to anyone that I’m backing the Welsh to reach the quarter-finals.”
Not many would have predicted both Northern Ireland and Wales to reach the knockout stages of the European Championships, though Wales winning Group B was arguably the biggest shock.
Despite losing to England, victories over Slovakia and Russia see them progress as group winners and in attacker Gareth Bale they have a played who can cause so much damage in the final third.
The former Tottenham Hotspur man already has three goals to his name in France, and not many will be surprised if he bags another on Saturday in what will be such a brilliant occasion.