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Bosnia and Herzegovina wary of depleted Ireland

"It's a big challenge," said Martin O'Neill as he takes a depleted Republic of Ireland side to Bosnia and Herzegovina, who will not be changing their game plan in the play-offs.

In focus: Bosnia and Herzegovina v Republic of Ireland
  • Ireland have several key players suspended or injured including keeper Shay Given
  • "It's a big challenge," admits Martin O'Neill
  • Mehmed Baždarević will not change home team's game plan despite Ireland's absences
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina have never qualified for a EURO
  • They have, however, won five of their six competitive matches under Baždarević

Possible lineups
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Begović; Mujdža, Vranješ, Šunjić, Spahić; Zukanović, Medunjanin, Pjanić, Lulić; Ibišević; Džeko.
Out: Bešić (suspended)
Doubtful: Zec (back), Aničić (broken nose)

Republic of Ireland: Randolph; Coleman, Keogh, Clark, Ward; McClean, Whelan, McCarthy, Hendrick, Brady; Murphy.
Out: Given (knee), Long (ankle), Meyler (knee), Westwood (ankle), O'Shea (suspended), Walters (suspended)
Doubtful: Arter (groin)

Highlights: Cyprus 2-3 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mehmed Baždarević, Bosnia and Herzegovina coach
We will not change our game plan because of their problems with injured goalkeepers. Ireland are without some of their very good players but they do have the capacity to replace them. After training, we will decide if we will play in our standard 4-3-3 formation, or make some changes.

Martin O'Neill, Republic of Ireland manager
Our missing players have been the talk of the week, even before we gathered as we knew we were missing players due to suspension. This all plays a part but it's how you cope with it and in two weeks' time, no one will remember who was injured or suspended. We have talked about the players who can't make it here but we have to deal with the people we have here and to be ready for the challenge, it's a big challenge.

Watch: Ireland stun Germany

Qualifying record
Bosnia and Herzegovina, third in Group B
W5 D2 L3 F17 A12

Republic of Ireland, third in Group D
W5 D3 L2 F19 A7

EURO play-off record
Bosnia and Herzegovina: W0 L1
Republic of Ireland: W1 L2

Reporter's view: Muamer Tanović
After mustering a paltry two points from their first four fixtures, not many gave the Dragons much hope of reaching even the play-offs. Baždarević, though, never seemed to doubt it after his appointment last December and Bosnia and Herzegovina have got better with each game. Better still, you sense they are yet to reach their peak – these matches against Ireland would be a good time.

Reporter's view: Aidan Fitzmaurice
The strength of the Republic's squad has really been tested by injury and suspension, with John O'Shea and Jonathan Walters – ever-presents in the group phase – both banned and Shay Given unfit. It is likely that Ireland will concede in Zenica, but debatable whether they can score in the Dublin return.

Did you know?
Ireland's Shane Long got the only goal when the teams met in a 2012 friendly, their sole previous meeting. Find out more in our extensive match background.

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