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  Neymar has been in good form during Brazil’s warm-up games. Photograph: EPA

The Matches Group E Costa Rica v Serbia (Samara Arena, 1pm, RTE/ITV) Betting: Costa Rica 7/2, Serbia 10/11, Draw 9/4 Group F Germany v Mexico (Luzhn(...)

Neymar will hold the key if Brazil are to emerge as champions for the sixth time at the World Cup. Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazil 4-1 Switzerland 100-1 Serbia 150-1 Costa Rica 500-1 The Contenders Few teams feel the same pressure and weight of expectation going into a Wo(...)

Serbia saw off Ireland on their way to qualifying for the World Cup in Russia with this goal from Aleksandar Kolarov enough to give them a 1-0 win in Dublin. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Serbia (150-1) Who are they? They’re the team that topped Ireland’s qualification group. Oh, what could have been. With a few games to go Ireland we(...)

Ireland arrive for training on Friday ahead of their crucial double header against Moldova and Wales. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Martin O’Neill, it seems, will not be going anywhere when this qualifying campaign is over. We still don’t know about his team but John Delaney, the m(...)

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill agreed a new deal to stay on as manager until the 2020 European Championships. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

There have been many cases in Irish sport of managers getting new contracts just before things went wrong at a major tournament in a way that made it (...)

 David Meyler of Hull City scores from the penalty spot against Birmingham City.  Photograph: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Having started the game against Serbia ahead of both Glenn Whelan and Harry Arter, David Meyler looks well-placed to feature in the Ireland team to fa(...)

 Nemanja Matic: “They are second, two points behind us, but the most important thing is who will be in Russia.” Photograph:  John Peters/Getty Images

Finally, a visiting player has moved beyond describing the Irish football team as playing the “British style of football,” but Nemanja Matic’s updated(...)

Manager Martin O’Neill and assistant manager Roy Keane with Seamus Coleman  at training. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Keeping faith with his players while looking to put the press in its place, Martin O’Neill shrugged off the criticism that has followed Saturday’s dra(...)

Manager Martin O’Neill said performance on  par with that against Italy at Euro 2016 needed if Ireland  are to beat  Wales. Photograph:   Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA Wire

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill suggested yesterday that it might take a performance on a par with the one against Italy at Euro 2016 if th(...)

Wales’ Chris Gunter  and Aaron Ramsey stretch out during a training session at Cardiff City Stadium on Friday ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Serbia.  Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The last time Aaron Ramsey wore a Wales shirt, he left the field to a standing ovation in Lille, euphoric after leading his country to victory over B(...)

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