Thursday 23 November 2017

Ireland legend Tony Cascarino expects O'Neill's men to emerge from Group E

Tony Cascarino
Tony Cascarino

Aidan Fitzmaurice in Versailles

The Republic of Ireland will get out of their group, but go no further, in Euro 2016, according to a prediction from former international Tony Cascarino.

To preview the tournament which kicks off tonight with the clash of hosts France and Romania in the Stade de France, the daily sports newspaper L'Equipe assembled a panel of experts, former players or coaches, from each of the 24 nations and Cascarino's time in France at club level saw him selected as the expert on Ireland. Asked to name the tournament favourites, he picked France and Spain, tipped France as the eventual winners and predicted that Eden Hazard would be the star of the Euros.

But when asked to say how far his own nation could go, Cascarino could only say "eighth-final", as in the first knock-out phase.

Gerry Armstrong had more confidence in Northern Ireland as he predicted a quarter-final place for Michael O'Neill's outfit. Armstrong also backed France to win and Antoine Greizmann to be the star of the tournament.

Ian Rush predicted "at least" a last 16 place for Wales but an undecided Chris Waddle felt that England could either "go far" or else get knocked out at the group stage.

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