Saturday 16 December 2017

Quality street the route for Begovic and Bosnia

Bosnia’s Asmir Begovic
Bosnia’s Asmir Begovic

Quality and confidence have been hard to come by for Chelsea's players of late.

But Blues 'keeper Asmir Begovic, probably relieved to be away on international duty with Bosnia-Herzegovina and away from the madness that is Stamford Bridge these days, believes that his side's quality will get them past Ireland in the Euro 2016 play-offs.

The Bosnian squad assembled at their base in Zenica yesterday, minds focused on the home leg with Ireland on Friday night, and while his own confidence has suffered due to his club's woes, Begovic says he has faith in the national side.

"We have a good chance. We're playing against a very tough opponent, but we believe in our quality," said Begovic, who suffered a Premier League defeat at the hands of an Irish-influenced Stoke City last weekend.

"In recent matches we have shown a lot of our positive side, so I hope we can get a good result in the first leg.

"But we know it will be very difficult against a very good team like Ireland," added the Blues keeper.

The Bosnia squad, boosted by the rteurn to scoring form of Edin Dzeko in the last week, will hold a number of public training sessions this week to drum up support.

While Martin O'Neill brought in a 30-strong squad, his counterpart Mehmed Bazdarevic opted to cut players from his own panel.

Marin Ancic (Astana), Ermin Zec (Gabala) and uncapped forward Rade Krunic (Empoli) have all been left out at this stage.

Mo Besic, a team-mate of the Irish contingent at Goodison Park, is suspended for the first leg.

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