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Here what you need to know about Ireland's Euro 2016 play-off opponents

The Boys in Green discovered their qualification fate this morning.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia Herzegovina Euro Soccer Source: AP/Press Association Images

Fifa ranking: 30

What’s their footballing history like? The 1998 World Cup was the first tournament they attempted to qualify for after gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1992. Since then, they have qualified for a major tournament just once — the 2014 World Cup.

How did they end up in the play-offs? They finished third in a group that also included Wales and Belgium, who qualified automatically, and Israel, Cyprus and Andorra, who were below them ultimately.

Who is their key player? Probably their captain Edin Džeko, formerly of Man City, who has an impressive 44 goals in 74 appearances at international level, though he has been struggling with a knee injury of late.

Have Ireland played them before? Yes, in a 2012 friendly just before the Euros — Ireland won 1-0 thanks to a Shane Long goal.

Source: N0neShallPa55/YouTube

What is their likely starting lineup? (4-3-3) Asmir Begovic (Chelsea); Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg), Toni Sunjic (Stuttgart), Emir Spahic (Hoffenheim), Ervin Zukanovic (Sampdoria); Miralem Pjanic (Roma), Anel Hadzic (Sturm Graz), Sejad Salihovic (Guizhou Renhe); Vedad Ibisevic (Hertha Berlin), Edin Dzeko (Roma), Senad Lulic (Lazio).

Will Ireland fancy their chances? They boast some relatively high-profile players and have a considerably better Fifa ranking, so it wasn’t the kindest of draws.

A version of this piece was originally published on 14 October

Analysis: Lack of confidence and individual errors cost Ireland automatic Euros spot>

Ireland will play Bosnia in the play-offs for a spot at Euro 2016>

 

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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