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Monday 26 September 2016

Long poses big threat say Belgium

Shane is one of best strikers in the Premier League: Jan

Shane Long. Photo: Sportsfile
Shane Long. Photo: Sportsfile

Belgium are wary of Ireland's Long ball game in Bordeaux tomorrow as they have identified Shane Long as the main threat to their Euro 2016 chances.

Long failed to score or truly threaten during Monday's 1-1 draw with Sweden but the Tipperary man's form in the Premier League season just gone, and his feat of scoring the winner against Germany last year, has made him stand out.

"Shane Long is, to me, the main man for them," Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen said last night.

"I see him as one of the best strikers in the Premier League, he is very mobile, he is direct, he knows where the goal is, hopefully we can keep him at bay.

"I know we are seen as the favourites for this game but Ireland have a strong side, with many players from the Premier League," added the Spurs man, aware of the importance of the tie in Bordeaux.

"We have to play with aggression and speed from the start, we need the win, we cannot even consider losing this game."

Belgium make the short trip from their base just 10km outside Bordeaux for a training session at the match stadium this evening and then the game tomorrow, while Ireland make the trek down from their Versailles base, via Paris, today.

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