Bosnians exude confident air about chances of success

Everton’s Muhamed Besic is set to return from his three-match suspension

Bosnia’s Asmir Begovic during a press conference in Dublin. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

Bosnia’s Asmir Begovic during a press conference in Dublin. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

 

Asmir Begovic appeared alongside his manager, Mehmed Bazdarevic, this time and that might explain a good part of the shift. The Chelsea goalkeeper said all the right things about his side’s determination to win this evening but he lacks just a little of his team mate’s conviction.

The result

That certainly looks to be more up for grabs than the Bosnians anticipated before the first leg with Begovic putting his side’s chances now at 50/50, an estimate his former Stoke team mates in the Irish side would probably accept as fair enough at this stage.

There was a general acceptance that Friday had not gone well for the visitors but, he said, “we will try to improve. It’s about trying to execute our plan as much as possible and as well as possible, and then we’ll see where it takes us in the end.

Second Captains

“Hopefully we’ll come out the other side but being at home, Ireland will probably expect a little more. We’ll try to use that to our advantage.”

Bazdarevic said he will review his tactics and a switch back to the 4-5-1 employed when the Bosnians beat Wales and Israel is possible, all the more so if the groin strain that Dzeko is said to have picked up in the first game is serious enough to keep him out – although that seems like a long shot.

Right back Mensur Mujdza looks to be a bigger doubt and having come on for him then laid on the goal in Zenica, Ognjen Vranjes may start this time despite a slight ankle problem of his own.

All but certain to return, meanwhile, is Everton’s Muhamed Besic who has served a three-match suspension imposed for the ludicrous offence of spitting chewing gum out at an Andorran opponent.

That may not be quite the sort of thing Bazdarevic has in mind when he says he wants his side to be more aggressive tonight.

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