Ireland need a good result in Zenica

Last updated: November 11, 2015 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Thursday, 7:45pm
Venue: Stadion Bilino Polje
Coverage: Sky Sports 1, BBC 5 Live
Home form: WWWLW
Away form: LWWWD
Last meeting: 0-1
Competition: The Euro 2016 play-offs

This is the first time in the history of the Bosnian national team, they have a real chance of qualifying for The European Championship. The reason is also because Bosnia-Herzegovina was a part of Yugoslavia. The team participated in The World Cup, a year ago, and despite the early return home the team showed some nice football in Brazil. Now, the Bosnian players are two matches away from qualifying – they need to eliminate Ireland, which is not an easy task.

The Republic of Ireland have participated in two European Championships so far. The Green Army’s best record is in Group Stage matches. This is a chance for them to qualify for the third time in their history and they will be highly motivated to do that. If Ireland qualifies, maybe this will be the last major tournament for their legend Robbie Keane, who is now 35 years old.

The match in Zenica will be the second game ever between these two teams. Both teams met in Dublin 3 years ago, when Ireland won 1-0. The only goal in the match was scored by Shane Long in the 78th minute. The striker is in O’Neill’s squad again, so we can expect another goal from him.

Team News

The goalkeeper Shay Given and the forward David McGoldrick are definitely out for the fixture, because of injuries. Given is suffering from a knee injury.

John O’Shea of Sunderland is suspended for the first leg, as is Stoke’s attacker Jon Walters. However, O’Shea is suffering from a hamstring problem, but O’Neill hopes he will be fit for the second leg.

Mehmed Baždarević is going to give a chance to the Empoli’s forward Rade Krunic, who can win his first international cap.

Edin Dzeko of AS Roma, who is Bosnia-Herzegovina’s top goal-scorer, will lead the attack for his team again. He scored 7 goals in the qualifying campaign.

Quotes of the week

bazdarevic Mehmed Baždarević (Bosnia-Herzegovina) : “We are masters of our destiny.”

oneill Martin O’Neill (Rep. of Ireland) : “We will play the second leg at home and that is a big plus for us because the Irish supporters were fantastic in our last game there against Germany.”

Expected line-ups:

Team: Bosnia-Herzegovina
Goalkeepers: Asmir Begović (Chelsea), Ibrahim Šehić (Qarabağ), Jasmin Burić (Lech Poznań).
Defenders: Toni Šunjić (Stuttgart), Ognjen Vranješ (Gaziantepspor), Emir Spahić (Hamburg), Ermin Bičakčić (Hoffenheim), Mensur Mujdža (Freiburg), Sead Kolašinac (Schalke), Edin Cocalić (Mechelen), Ervin Zukanović (Sampdoria), Marin Aničić (Astana).
Midfielders: Muhamed Bešić (Everton), Miralem Pjanić (Roma), Srdjan Grahovac (Rapid Wien), Anel Hadžić (Sturm Graz), Haris Medunjanin (Deportivo la Coruña), Tino-Sven Sušić (Hajduk Split), Senad Lulić (Lazio), Sejad Salihović (Guizhou Rehne), Edin Višća (İstanbul BB).
Strikers: Rade Krunić (Empoli), Ermin Zec (Qäbälä), Izet Hajrović (Eibar), Edin Džeko (AS Roma), Armin Hodžić (Dinamo Zagreb), Milan Djurić (Cesena), Vedad Ibišević (Hertha).
Team: Rep. of Ireland
Goalkeepers: David Forde (Millwall), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Darren Randolph (West Ham), Rob Elliot (Newcastle United).
Defenders: Richard Keogh (Derby County), Cyrus Christie (Derby County), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Marc Wilson (Stoke City), Seamus Coleman (Everton), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Paul McShane (Reading), Stephen Ward (Burnley).
Midfielders: Robbie Brady (Norwich City), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), James McCarthy (Everton), Darron Gibson (Everton), Aiden McGeady (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Judge (Brentford), David Meyler (Hull City).
Strikers: Jon Walters (Stoke City), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids).

So far this season

. . .
Bosnia-Herzegovina this campaign Rep. of Ireland this campaign
3 (2) (at home) Wins (away) 3 (2)
3-0 vs. Andorra (twice) Biggest win 7-0 vs. Gibraltar
1 (1) (at home) Draws (away) 2 (1)
1 (2) (at home) Losses (away) 0 (2)
0-3 to Israel Biggest Defeat 1-2 to Poland
Dzeko (7) Top scorer Keane (5)
Y21, R2 Discipline Y22, R0
2 Failures to score 1
4 Clean Sheets 4
5 Both Teams to Score Games 5
7 Over 2.5 Games 4
3 Under 2.5 Games 6
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina lost only 1 of their last 8 home games. They won 6 of them. The only defeat was against Cyprus in The Qualifying Campaign (1-2).
  • The Republic of Ireland have recorded only two victories in the team’s last 14 visits. Moreover, the wins came against weaker teams like Gibraltar and Georgia.
  • The fixture will be the second ever game between these two teams. The first match finished with a 1-0 victory for Ireland at home.
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina have never participated in a European Championship. The Republic of Ireland have taken part twice.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
26/05/12 Friendly Rep. of Ireland 1-0 Bosnia-Herzegovina S. Long 78′