Watch Republic Of Ireland vs Russia live

Watch Republic Of Ireland vs Russia live

Today when Ireland play Russia will also see the tactical battle of 2 of Europe's greatest ever managers in Ireland's Giovanni Trappatoni and Russia's Dick Advocaat. Both men have had distinguised careers, Advocaat guiding Holland to the world cup quarter finals in 1994 and having lengthy stints as boss of PSV Eindhoven and Rangers and nearly 30 years of management under his belt. Trappatoni has had even more experience, first managing Milan in 1974 and going on to take charge of some of Europe's top clubs in Milan, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Benfica, Juventus and also taking charge of the Italian national team in his time.

Trappatoni will be looking to keep up the proud record of the Irish in qualifying as they lead the pack in group B after a 100% record and wins over Armenia and Andorra. Strikers Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle will spearhead the attack following their goals in the first 2 matches and Trappatoni will be hoping they find the net today in what is their sternest test yet in the group. He declared this week that Russia are the "top seeds" in group B and spoke resolutely about his team's preparations for the match.“We have prepared well and will not make it easy for them as we continue to lay the foundations to qualify for the European Championship finals,” Trappatoni speaking to the UEFA website.

Russia are favourites for the group but Ireland could be buoyed by Russia's shock defeat in their last qualifier at home to Slovakia. They did win their first match against Andorra and the scorer of their goals in that match, Pavel Pogrebnyak is available and possible to get another appearance to repeat his feats against Andorra on the Irish. Andrey Arshavin of Arsenal, Roman Pavlyuchenko of Tottenham Hotspur and Yuri Zhirkov of Chelsea are all other possibilities to play for Russia although Pavlyuchenko is a worry with a thigh problem. Advocaat isn't fooled by his team's top seed tag and told the UEFA website: “it would be wrong to call us favorites. We face a solid team that battled with France in the World Cup playoffs, only losing in extra time.”

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