Asked who he would prefer prior to the draw FAI chief executive John Delaney said “We do better against the bigger teams. We did that against Italy over two legs, we were very good. People differ on whether France are still a top team, or whether Domenech is a top manager or not, but whoever we get, we'll give them a run for their money.”
Fair enough; now we’ll find out the truth about the French, and whether the Irish are worthy of a finals place or not. Tony Cascarino thinks he knows the answer. “What a difficult draw... for France” is how his Times column begins this afternoon.
Aside from who plays at home first, there really isn’t much more you need to know about the Russia - Slovenia play off games. That’s a view you won’t find the official Slovenian Press Agency agreeing with. They have more information – and they want you to pay for it! Let’s hope subscribers can learn how the two play off games between the sides will “determine the remaining four European national football teams to play in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.” Teams contesting the other play off ties will presumably want to know why their games are meaningless.
And you just know the Russians are paying lip service to the “no mugs in this competition” ethos with comments like this.