The Republic of Ireland must pay special attention to Edin Dzeko in their Euro 2016 playoff against Bosnia & Herzegovina, says defender Richard Keogh.
The Derby County man looks set to get the call from boss Martin O’Neill for Friday’s first leg clash in Bosnia with skipper John O’Shea ruled out through suspension.
Keogh says Dzeko, 5.25 to score first against Ireland on Friday, is a top class player and one that his side must be wary of.
“He’s got a bit of everything,” said Keogh.
“He’s tall and he’s deceptively quick, he’s got a nice touch – his all-round game is something that you have to watch out for. He’s one of those where you think he is probably going to head it, but he jumps up and brings it down on his chest.”
On loan at Roma this season from Manchester City, it is Dzeko’s ability to do the unexpected that Keogh expects to make life tough for the Irish.
“It’s little things like that you have got to be aware of. He tries to link the play, so he is a player that is a big threat for them.
“As a team we will do our homework on them and not just him, the team in general. But I am ready to play and I want to play against the best players. He’s certainly up there, so it would be a great challenge,” he added.
Ireland took third place in Group D behind Germany and Poland to grab their playoff spot while Bosnia & Herzegovina finished behind Belgium and Wales in Group B.
Bosnia are 1.95 to win the first leg clash, where Republic of Ireland are 4.33 and the draw is 3.25.