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Thursday, November 10, 2011
Pareiko calm ahead of Ireland clash

Estonia goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko insists he and his team-mates are approaching their Euro 2012 play-off clash with Ireland in an unflustered manner.

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Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland are favourites to progress to next summer's European Championship finals, but Pareiko believes that a combination of luck and skill can help his side upset the odds and reach the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

"These two matches are special ones," Pareiko told "Skill is an important issue, but character and luck will be big factors as well."

"Some people have said that short passing and quick football could be a good weapon against the Republic of Ireland. In their games against Russia and Armenia it was evident that the Irish sometimes can't handle fast, skilful players."

And Pareiko, who plays for Polish side Wisla Krakow, is adamant that preparations for the two matches against Ireland will be no different to any other, despite the fact Estonia are on the brink of qualifying for their first ever major finals as an independent footballing nation.

"The more normally we prepare, the better," Pareiko said. "This is the secret of success - stay calm before the games and show what we can do on the pitch."

The first leg of the play-off is at the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn on Friday, with the return leg at Dublin's Aviva Sradium next Tuesday.

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