Euro 88 hero Aldridge tips Ireland to book its flights to Euro 2012
Published 13/10/2011 | 14:31
FORMER Republic of Ireland striker and Euro 88 veteran and John Aldridge has backed the team to beat Estonia and qualify for the finals.
Asked if he thought Trapattoni's side would go through, he told Sky Sports News: "Yes. We've got the greatest travelling fans and it would be great to see them on the road again."
The former Liverpool player believes the Republic were fortunate to draw Estonia.
He said: "It was probably the easiest of the four (seeded teams to draw).
"We travel better than we play at home, we've had better results away than we have had at home."
Aldridge added on his hopes for the first leg: "They will try to get a clean sheet, try to get a win which would set us up nicely."
Aldridge admitted the suspension of striker Kevin Doyle, still waiting to hear the length of his punishment after being sent off in the qualifier against Armenia on Tuesday which the Republic won 2-1, would be a blow to the team's chances.
However, he backed Shane Long to fill the breach.
"Shane Long has done really well when he has deputised for either Robbie (Keane) or Kevin so it's a great opportunity for him."
Ireland and Estonia have met twice before, in qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.
The Irish, then under Mick McCarthy`s management, won both games 2-0, with defender Richard Dunne, a scorer against Armenia, on target in each match.