/ Soccer

Faroe Islands looking to spoil Robbie Keane's party

Updated: Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 20:27 | Comments

Lars Olsen putting his players through their paces at the Lansdowne Road venue
Lars Olsen putting his players through their paces at the Lansdowne Road venue

Lars Olsen has admitted it would be a sensation of epic proportions if the Faroe Islands ruined Robbie Keane's party tomorrow night.

The Ireland skipper will win a record 126th senior international cap at the Aviva Stadium, although the 32-year-old is more concerned about the three World Cup qualification points on offer.

Faroes boss Olsen knows the chances of the Group C strugglers denying Ireland victory are slim, but he insists that is what they will set out to do.

The former Denmark international said: "It would be very big, very big. It would be a sensation all over Europe. But every time before we play, we believe we can win.

"Normally, I admit, Ireland must be a big, big favourite - but it's not every time the favourite is going to win."

The favourite certainly did win the last time the Faroes went into qualifier battle in March when they were trounced 6-0 by Austria in Vienna.

However, Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has insisted there is no room for complacency, and Olsen is convinced his team will be better this time around.

He said: "We played at the end of March in Austria and we had a very bad performance. Therefore we are looking forward to making it better in tomorrow's game against Ireland, even though we know it will be a very difficult game for us.

"Ireland are one of the favourites to take second place. I think it will be between Sweden, Austria and Ireland - I think the Germans will win the group - and of course, they must have three points tomorrow.

"But I'm optimistic for the game tomorrow because when you look at the opposite game in the Faroe Islands in October, we played a very good game.

"In the first 45 minutes of that game, we were the better team and at the break, in my opinion, we should have been one or two goals up.

"We had 15 bad minutes at the start of the second half and the last 15 minutes was also bad, but it shows, I would say, we played an equal game against Ireland.

"I know it was at home in the Faroe Islands, but we believe we can do something better than that because we must be better than the last game, something like when we played Ireland the last time."

If the Faroes are to do that, they may have to keep Keane at bay, although that is not a task which unduly concerns Olsen after seeing him at close hand in his side's 4-1 defeat by the Irish in Torshavn.

He said with a smile: "He also played in the Faroe Islands and he didn't score there, as far as I remember.

"I was here to see the game Ireland v Austria [when Keane did not play] and you could see they missed him in that game because without Robbie Keane, Austria were a little bit better.

"Ireland were not so dangerous when they attacked with the strikers they had in that game, so of course it would be better for them to play with Robbie than without."

It will be Olsen's fourth visit to Ireland for a game and while he is yet to finish on the winning side, he is yet to taste defeat either.

He said: "I think I played three times in Ireland and I have never won. It's three times I have drawn.

"The last time, I think we [Denmark] were one goal up and then they equalised and at the end, they were going to the United States [for the 1994 World Cup finals] instead of us."

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