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EC Qualification

  • 15 November 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Aviva Stadium, Dublin
  • Referee: B. Kuipers
  • • Attendance: 51151

Republic of Ireland win Aggregate 5 - 1

Republic of Ireland – Estonia Preview: Hosts on brink of qualifying for first major tournament in 10 years with four-goal advantage in Euro 2012 play-off

Republic of Ireland – Estonia Preview: Hosts on brink of qualifying for first major tournament in 10 years with four-goal advantage in Euro 2012 play-off

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A place in the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine is up for grabs as Giovanni Trapattoni's men go into the second leg with a healthy lead against minnows



O'Shea, Dunne, St.Ledger, Ward

McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, Duff

Keane, Doyle


Sisov, Jaager, Barengrub, Klavan

Vunk, Dmitrijev, Kink, Kruglov



Giovanni Trapattoni has a few selection issues going in to the second leg at the Aviva Stadium. Fulham defender Stephen Kelly has been ruled out of the match after picking up a groin injury in training on Sunday, but John O'Shea has recovered from his hamstring problem and will likely replace Kelly in the Irish defence.

Damien Duff suffered a rib injury in the victory over Estonia on Friday, but he was able to take part in training on Sunday, and is back in contention for a starting place. Leon Best will miss the second leg after suffering groin and toe injuries and has returned to his club Newcastle for treatment.

Wolves striker Kevin Doyle has served his suspension and will likely be involved in the match, whether it be in the starting XI or a substitute appearance.

Estonia have defensive problems heading in to the second leg. Central defenders Raio Piiroja and Andrei Stepanov are suspended after receiving two bookings each in the first leg loss. Tihhon Sisov may come in at right back with Enar Jaager slotting into the centre. Alo Barengrub may get the nod to make up the defensive pairing at the back.

  • Republic of Ireland go into this match with a healthy four-goal advantage, having defeated Estonia 4-0 in the first leg of the play-off on Friday night.
  • If Ireland manage to qualify, this will be the first time in 10 years that they have progressed to a major international tournament. They last competed in the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.
  • Jon Walters scored his first international goal in the 4-0 win for Ireland in the first leg.
  • Estonia had the majority of the possession in Friday's first leg defeat but still conceded four goals. They had 53 per cent of the ball in the game.
  • After the loss in the first leg, Estonia have now lost three matches out of three in which they have played the Republic of Ireland.
  • Estonia have never qualified for the European Championship or the World Cup. They will need to score a minimum of four goals without reply in this match if this is to change.
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Players to watch

R. Keane

Position: Attacker

Games: 9

  • 5
  • 0
  • 0
The record Irish goalscorer bagged a brace in the first leg to catapult his nation to the brink of Euro 2012 and once again displayed his ability on the international stage. His leadership skills, as well as his movement and predatory runs, caused Estonia numerous problems on Friday and don't be surprised if he gets on the scoresheet again.

K. Vassiljev

Position: Midfielder

Games: 9

  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
The 27-year-old was one of the few Estonia players who looked as if they could handle the pressure of such a momentous game in the first leg. Vassiljev has a good first touch, which should allow him to turn and drive towards the Ireland defence. He has the ability to create chances for team-mates and his skill will certainly be of concern to Trapattoni's side.

Editor's Prediction

Republic of Ireland have all but booked their ticket to Poland and Ukraine after the 4-0 drubbing of Estonia on Friday night, so this match may prove to be an exhibition game for both sides. The Irish put on a fantastic away performance in the first leg and with their loyal fans behind them, you cannot see beyond another win fo  Trapattoni's men.

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