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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Trapattoni's line-ups so pre-diddly-ictable!

ARE Ireland, in the words of Ned Flanders, the most pre-diddly-ictable team at Euro 2012?

It looks that way after matchday one of the tournament as Ireland were the only team to choose the starting line-up for their opening game and have players with squad numbers 1-11.

The only ones that came close to our record were the Danes, who used every player in their squad numbered from 1 to 11, apart from the unfortunate No. 2 Christian Poulsen as No. 21 Niki Zimling started.

Meanwhile, Irish fans of music are not stuck for something to do in Poland tonight with a couple of events that will give them a break from the football for a while.

Stadium rockers Snow Patrol are playing a gig - for an Irish charity - in Gdansk, beside the famous old shipyards tonight, though describing them as a strictly "Irish" group could spark another whole cross-border debate that will drag in James McClean etc.

Lead singer Gary Lightbody is a proud fan of the Northern Ireland team and he delighted the locals in Belfast a few months back when he wore a Norn Iron jersey on stage.

Giovanni Trapattoni is not likely to give his players a pass for the evening tonight to escape from their hotel in Sopot but if they did allowed out, the music lovers in the Irish squad could hum along to U2 as a popular Polish outfit called Zywe Srody (meaning live Wednesdays) are playing a special U2 tribute show in Klub Papryka in Sopot tonight. And it's free in. Maybe Larry Mullen, a regular at Ireland's home games, will pop along and help out on drums.

And Irish fans did their best to boost profits for the Polish arm of McDonalds as there were long queues outside of their branch in Poznan last week around the time of the Ireland-Croatia game.

Irish fans here in Gdansk are now trying to expand their culinary experience and try some of the local grub.

Those 24-hour kebab shops are everywhere and do just the job when the tummy grumbles late at night after a few pints and the Sopot branch of Kebabistan - great name - has a growing Irish

following.

We're not sure yet, though, what the Irish make of the typically Polish fast food snack called a zapienanka, usually sold very late at night to the very drunk.

Best leave the description of that product to a local tourist guide: "Take a stale baguette, pour melted cheese on it and then cover it with mushrooms and ketchup. Best eaten when absolutely plastered".

Worth a try, at least.

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