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Trap hails ‘balanced’ World Cup fixtures list

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI got most of what he wanted from Ireland's Group C fixtures meeting in Frankfurt but with a nasty sting in the tail.

The Group will kick off early to facilitate the Faroe Islands’ short playing season with a game against Austria on June 12 next year.

And Ireland will open their World Cup 2014 campaign with a long-haul flight to Almaty in Kazakhstan, but with no fixture to follow and no concerns about the impact of fatigue.

“This is a good fixture schedule for our team with a good balance to the matches. We finish the campaign at home and start with a single away match against Kazakhstan which was important given the long distances involved,” said Trapattoni.

Assuming Trapattoni and the FAI reach a mutual understanding on a new deal in the coming weeks, the Italian will lead Ireland out at Lansdowne Road for the first home fixture of the campaign against Germany on October 12 followed four days later by the trip to the Faroe Islands.

The game against Germany will be a huge money-spinner and a crucially important encounter for Ireland’s chances of making the trip to the World Cup finals in Brazil.

“I am also happy with the balance obtained in the double headers and the timing of what we would expect to be some of the key matches in the group,” added Trapattoni, although a close look at the fixture list reveals some very difficult nights ahead towards the back end of the campaign.

The key dates in the group will come late on when Ireland play successive games against Sweden, Austria and Germany, with the latter two fixtures away from home.

All going well, Ireland will meet Kazakhstan in the final game at Lansdowne Road on October 15, 2013.