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Given: We won't play for draw

Shay Given is not prepared to leave anything to chance as Ireland attempt to book their trip to the Euro 2012 finals.

Russia's 1-0 victory in Slovakia on Friday night means they will top Group B if they beat pointless Andorra on Tuesday night in the final round of fixtures. Ireland had hoped Slovakia would have completed a double over the Russians, meaning a maximum haul from their final two games, in Andorra on Friday night and at home to Armenia on Tuesday, would hand them automatic qualification instead.

Given said: "They have scored eight goals in the last two games, so they are really on a high at the minute, so it will be a big test for us all on Tuesday night. A draw is enough for us, but we don't want to be holding out for a draw because anything can happen in the last minute."

He added: "Hopefully we can go and win the game and it puts them out of the way."

Unless Andorra can pull off a surprise of epic proportions - and there was little evidence that they could as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat by Ireland at the Estadi Comunal on Friday night - Given and his team-mates will have to make do with second place and a play-off spot.

A point against the Armenians will ensure that, but three successive victories and 11 goals in the process suggest that is by no means a foregone conclusion.

Given perhaps had more time than most to contemplate what might be happening in Zilina as Ireland eased to victory through Kevin Doyle's seventh-minute strike and an Ildefons Lima own goal 13 minutes later.

The Aston Villa keeper said: "We thought maybe Slovakia could have done us a turn, but it wasn't to be.

"Andorra might beat Russia on Tuesday night, you never know! They look like they are topping the group, but they were favourites from the start. They are a huge country.

"We have got a huge chance on Tuesday night, but we know Armenia are coming strongly behind us as well, so it's going to be a tough game."


From Belfast Telegraph