Thursday 27 October 2016

Euro 2016 - The play-off potentials who want to face (and avoid) Boys in Green

Tom Rooney

Published 15/10/2015 | 11:10

Republic of Ireland's Shane Long with team-mates Robbie Brady and John O'Shea
Republic of Ireland's Shane Long with team-mates Robbie Brady and John O'Shea

Only 5pc of Hungarians wish to be matched with Republic of Ireland in Euro 2016 playoff, but Swedish fans are more bullish on their chances should they be paired against Martin O'Neill's side.

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Ahead of Sunday’s draw, which will see unseeded Ireland matched with Sweden, Hungary, Ukraine or Bosnia for a place in next year's European Championships, it seems as though there are vastly differing views of the Boys in Green among our potential opponents.

In a poll conducted by the Hungarian website Nemzeti Sport, only 5pc of the near 40,000 readers that contributed wanted their country to be drawn with Ireland. Only Denmark they feared more.

The vast majority were hoping for a showdown with Slovenia, though were many on the site who feel the Hungarian team are doomed regardless of the draw.

It is a contrast to readers of Swedish national daily newspaper DN. According to the paper, Ireland’s heyday was between 1988 and1994; the high-point of which was our quarter-final appearance in Italia’90. It must be said, there’s not a huge amount to take exception to with that statement.

It was also pointed out that the Swedes beat and drew with Ireland during the qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup, and that the bulk of Ireland’s players ply their trade in the Championship or lower.

The paper gave Ibrahimović and co a 60pc chance of prevailing if Sunday's draw pits their side against Martin O'Neill's team.

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