Republic of Ireland
Robbie Keane will be one of the key players for Republic of Ireland on Friday.Reuters

Republic of Ireland were pitted in a tough Group D in the Euro qualifiers, which included two European giants, Poland and Germany, who have both sealed the first two automatic spots from the group for Euro 2016 finals in France next year.

However, the Republic of Ireland, as expected, finish third in the group, which helped them earn a playoff spot. Republic of Ireland will face a quality opponent in the form of Bosnia and Herzegovina at Stadion Bilino Polje in Zenica for the first leg on Friday.

Bosnia and Herzegovina come into the fixture with a spring in their stride as they have won their last three matches against teams such as Wales, Andorra and Cyprus. It is such winnings streak, which helped them grab the playoff spot in Group B. The home team, despite such record, are aware of the tough task against the visitors, who will be eager to break Bosnia and Herzegovina's unbeaten streak.

Republic of Ireland are also in a similar form with victories against Germany – which increased their chances of finishing in third place -- Georgia and Gibraltar. They have only lost to Poland in their last eight matches in all competition.

With both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Ireland in such sensational form, the game promises to be an entertaining one. However, the visitors have been hard done by injuries to Shay Given, Shane Long and David McGoldrick and other two star players -- John O'Shea and Jonathan Walters -- will also miss the first leg due to suspension.

With such players set to miss the match, they have been grabbing headlines as their team may look slightly weaker.

"Our missing players have been the talk of the week, even before we gathered as we knew we were missing players due to suspension. This all plays a part but it's how you cope with it and in two weeks' time, no one will remember who was injured or suspended," UEFA official website quoted Martin O'Neill, Republic of Ireland manager as saying.

O'Neill knows about the importance of the first leg on Friday, hence their experienced player Robbie should make the most of it and help his team emerge victorious.

"We have talked about the players who can't make it here but we have to deal with the people we have here and to be ready for the challenge, it's a big challenge," said O'Neill.

The talk of Ireland's suspended and injured players seems to have been a major talking point. Even Mehmed Baždarević, Bosnia and Herzegovina coach is aware of their key players, who are missing the game, but Baždarević has not decided about his team's formation. 

"We will not change our game plan because of their problems with injured goalkeepers. Ireland are without some of their very good players but they do have the capacity to replace them. After training, we will decide if we will play in our standard 4-3-3 formation, or make some changes," said Baždarević.

Where to watch live

The crucial Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Republic of Ireland Euro 2016 qualifiers Playoff is scheduled for 8:45pm local time (1:15am IST, 7:45pm BST, 2:45pm ET) start with live coverage in India on Sony Kix with live streaming on Livsports.

Viewers in the US can catch Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Republic of Ireland on ESPN2 while the live stream option is on Watch ESPN while viewers in the UK can enjoy the live coverage of Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Republic of Ireland on Sky Sports 1/HD with an option of going online on Sky Go.

Football fans in Bosnia and Herzegovina can watch the game on BHT1.