Date: 13th June 2016 at 9:00am
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Republic of Ireland kick-off their Euro 2016 campaign against Sweden at the Stade de France on Monday evening with the hope of doing more than just making up the numbers in the tournament.

Martin O Neill’s men qualified from Group D in third-place, along with Germany and Poland, picking up five wins and three draws from their ten games.

Manager O’Neil himself agreed a contract extension last week to keep him as national team coach beyond the summer.

Meanwhile Sweden also finished third in their group with the same amount of points, after finishing behind Austria and Russia.

The two sides last met in the Euro 2014 qualifying stage, drawing one game (0-0) before Sweden won the reverse fixture 2-1.

Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

Sweden superstar Ibrahimovic scored a remarkable 50 goals in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain last season – Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

Ireland arrived in Versailles on Wednesday, but preparations since have been far from usual after they cancelled training and all media activity prior to their opening group stage fixture.

It has been ten years since Ireland have beaten Sweden, drawing once and suffering a defeat in the two games since.

Their main worry this time out will be Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will be looking to demonstrate what his new club will be getting next season – by doing something he is used to in producing on the big stage.

Team News:

Republic of Ireland forward Jonathan Walters has been declared fit after an achilles problem, whilst captain Robbie Keane (calf) and Robbie Brady (back) have joined in with the group – meaning they are at full strength.

Sweden also have their full 23-man party available in their bid to start the group stage with a victory.

FIFA World Ranking: Ireland – 33th; Sweden – 35th
Best European Championship Finish: Ireland – Group Stage (1988 & 2008); Sweden – Semi-finals (1992)
Previous Meeting: Ireland 1-2 Sweden (2013)
Form: Ireland – DWWDDL; Sweden – DWLDDW
Key Men: Ireland – Robbie Keane; Sweden – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Shoot Says: Republic of Ireland 1-2 Sweden

 
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