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So here it is, just in case you wanted to see it again 🙂   Shane Long scores for Ireland against Germany at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.  Ireland later qualified for the Euro’s in France 2016 by beating Bosnia-Herzegovina in the play off.  Well done lads.  In the words of that great old Irish rebel song “We will march with O’Neill, to an Irish battle field, we will go to fight the forces of the crown”.  This time the Irish will be playing to be crowned Kings of European football.

And you heard it here first.  Ireland will get out of the group and move onto the last 16. Having been drawn against Italy, Sweden and currently world ranked #1 Belgium, it will not be easy for Ireland. However, Belgium are a collection of great players, but I suspect not a great team.  Ireland are the polar opposite, they have no superstars, but they have a terrific work rate and team spirit.  With Ireland, the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Ireland has been drawn against Sweden in the first game and I think the Irish can get a win.  Yes, Zlotan Ibrahimovic is excellent, and will be an obvious threat to the Irish defense, but at 34 he is no spring chicken. The Irish work rate and team spirit should carry them through to a win against Sweden.  Given the unique nature of international tournaments, with only 4 teams per group, a win in the first game will put Ireland in a terrific position going into the games against Italy and Belgium where draws (ties) should be enough to see Ireland into the next round.  O’Neill has already proved Ireland’s approach and tactics will be very different from the overly cautious Irish team under Trapattoni.  Having watched Martin O’Neill guide his men through a very tough qualifying group consisting of Poland, Germany, Scotland and Georgia, I am sure he will navigate his team to the last 16 in France.  We beat the World Champions Germany, so we can beat anyone.  Get in there lads !!!!

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