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Euro 2016 - Padraig's View

10 June 2016

Padraig Amond talks to us about the Euros and his fellow countrymen's chances . . .

Who do you fancy for the Euros in France (winning it)?

Podge: I think France will win the tournament. Their attacking threat is unreal. Biggest problem is losing the couple of defenders to injury most notably Raphael Varane who I think is the best defender in the world. 

Who might provide a surprise?

Podge: Northern Ireland could surprise a few people. They play to their strengths and are good at it. Also they have a favourable draw. Other than them Albania.

Who do you think will shine in France?

Podge: I'm looking forward to seeing Paul Pogba play and see how he copes with the pressure of a home tournament. In 98 Zidane really came to the fore and placed himself amongst the greats with his performances. Renato Sanchis from Portugal is another who I can wait to see. He has already been signed by Bayern Munich for big money and he has a big career in front of him. It will be interesting to see what game time Marcus Rashford might get. His rise has been unbelievable and he will have no fear and be full of confidence going into the tournament.

How do you think the British sides will do?

Podge: Obviously the most pressure is on England and they will be hoping for a quarter final at the least. The others all have a good chance to qualify from the group but out of the 4 home nations team Ireland have the toughest task to qualify and it could all come down to the first game against Sweden. If Wales can keep Bale fit and on form they could reach the quarter finals too and Northern Ireland will be happy to qualify from the group. 

Can Ireland progress? Who might be their hero at the Euros? Who excites you in their side? What do you make of Martin O'Neil's strike force?

Obviously Italy are the favourites but can Martin O'Neill's side cause an upset?

Podge: Like I said the big game for Ireland is the Sweden in and they have to keep Zlatan quiet. Italy aren't the force they once were and we might be able to cause an upset but then again we aren't exactly the strongest Irish side ever either. Shane Long is the most important player for us and if he is in form and scoring goals we can progress. Long has really taken his game to the next level over the past year and it's no surprise to see him linked with bigger clubs like Liverpool and Spurs. 

How far do you think England can go?

Podge: England will be happy with the quarter finals but I think a semi final place isn't asking for too much. They have players who are going into the tournament off the back of the season of their lives like Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier. England biggest problem will be their defence as its not a strong as it could be. 

Do you think Roy was right to take Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney to France?  

Podge: Yeah he was right to bring both. Rooney for the stick he gets still has scored more goals than anybody else has for England and still has a lot to offer the side. Sturridge is a great player but his fitness is always the issue. If he can stay fit he would be a threat to any side he plays against.

France 4/11 v Romania 10/1 l Wales 9/5 v Slovakia 9/5 l Poland 4/6 v Northern Ireland 5/1 l Rep of Ireland 9/4 v Sweden 11/8

Sky Bet - GTFC's Official Betting Partner. 

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