Russia are a formidable outfit and Switzerland,Georgia,Albania are no pushovers either. I expect Georgia to be a surprise in this group so many quality players such asKinkladze,Kaladze,Ketsbaia etc if they can play as a team they could cause Russia and Ireland some problems. Ireland and Russia should progress and the meetings between these two sides should decide the winner of this group.
tough enough but not as hard as our last few qualifying groups. Russia are'nt that formidable. Portugal and Holland they were formidable opponents. The Swiss?? Hardly world beaters and I'd fancy us to take 4 points of them. The crunch game is in Moscow cos we're unbeatable at home and Russia/Old CCCP's record in Dublin aint that good over the years anyway. Georgia away would be a worry as would Albania of course. Still we did'nt get the Brits or Holland again so all in all its an OK draw. Not much angst around the office anyway.
Not too shabby, but then I don't think you could get much harder then our recent W.C. campaign and anything by comparison would be easy. Yeah Switzerland is playing better but I'm not concerned at all about them. Russia will serve up some competative games but these 2 games are games we could either win or lose. All in all I'm quite happy.
DUBLIN, January 25 (DS)- Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy admitted his side should make the finals for Euro 2004 following the qualifying draw.
The Republic will face Russia, Switzerland, Georgia and Albania in Group 10.
And although he admitted there will be "some tough games along the road", McCarthy was happy to concede that his side should live up to their ranking as top seeds in the group.
He told Sky Sports News: "It's certainly a group we can qualify from. I don't think ther will be a team that will run away with it, though.
"Russia could've have been the top seed and we could've been second and no-one would've batted an eyelid. I saw Albania play against England are they're a tough team.
"It will be a hard-working group and everyone will take points off one another. But I think we can progress."
Barring any miracles, it will be Ireland and Russia fighting it out for the first 2 spots. The games between these two teams will be crucial. If one team can take probably 4 points off the other they should finish top.