PREVIEW: Republic of Ireland vs Sweden

The two nations will meet in Group E

Home nation Republic of Ireland entertain Sweden in their opening game of Euro 16 at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis, kick-off 5pm (BST).

Republic of Ireland’s Euros history

This is the third time that the Republic of Ireland have qualified for the European Championships, after they made appearances in the 1988 and 2012 tournaments.

However, they have never made it beyond the group stage in any of the Euros they have previously featured in, something that manager Martin O’Neill and assistant manager Roy Keane will be desperate to put right.

Also, the Boys in Green have only ever won one match at a Euros and that was a 1-0 victory over England back in ’88; Ray Houghton scored the only goal of the game.

Sweden’s Euros history

On the other hand, this is Sweden’s sixth appearance at the European Championships after previously qualifying in 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Their greatest performance in a Euros was back in ’92. They qualified automatically as the hosts but they also made it all the way to the semi-finals before losing 3-2 to Germany.

UEFA.com’s predicted line-ups

Republic of Ireland: Darren Randolph; Seamus Coleman, John O’Shea (captain), Richard Keogh, Robbie Brady; Glenn Whelan, James McCarthy, Jeff Hendrick, Wes Hoolahan; Jonathan Walters and Shane Long.

Sweden: Andreas Isaksson; Mikael Lustig, Erik Johansson, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson; Sebastian Larsson, Oscar Lewicki, Kim Källström, Emil Forsberg; Zlatan Ibrahimović (captain) and Marcus Berg.

The other group game

Belgium entertain Italy in the other Group E game at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon, kick-off 8pm (BST).

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