The Republic of Ireland head into their final Group B games, in Andorra on Friday night and next Tuesday's home match with Armenia, knowing two wins would edge them ahead of current leaders Russia should they slip up in Slovakia. Sound simple? Not according to assistant manager Marco Tardelli.
"Andorra are a good team, a strong team physically," Tardelli said. "And also the pitch is not very good. It is bumpy and it could be a problem. When players think the match is very easy, that's when the difficulties start."
At the very worst, two wins would secure a play-off place for Giovanni Trapattoni's team. Ireland will be without Richard Dunne, who is suspended. Sean St Ledger could be paired with either John O'Shea or Darren O'Dea in the middle of defence.
The Republic were boosted yesterday by O'Shea training having arrived at the camp with a minor injury.Reuse content