World Ranking: 33

Best Euros finish: Group stage.

How they qualified: Martin O'Neill's side secured the qualification to France after beating Bosnia-Herzegovina in a thrilling play-off after ending Group D in third position.

They only won five games out of ten, during the group, but an impressive home victory and an away draw against Germany led them to secure a place in the playoff ahead of Scotland.

Fixtures: Group E: Sweden (13 June), Belgium (18 June), Italy (22 June)

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Shay Given, Keiren Westwood

Defenders: Seamus Coleman, Cyrus Christie, John O'Shea, Ciaran Clark, Richard Keogh, Shane Duffy, Stephen Ward.

Midfielders: Robbie Brady, James McCarthy, Glenn Whelan, Stephen Quinn, David Meyler, Jeff Hendrick, Wes Hoolahan, Aiden McGeady, James McClean

Forwards: Shane Long, Robbie Keane, Jon Walters, Daryl Murphy

Expectations:They failed to advance from their group in 2012 after losing all the three games. Yet they hope to reach at least the group stage this time after conceding only eight goals in 12 games during the qualification campaign, beating the likes of Germany in the process. The opening fixture against Sweden is key as they then have two daunting games against the promising Belgium and the unglamorous but reliable Italy.

Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane is expected to have a secondary role in France.Reuters

Manager: Martin O'Neill, with Roy Keane's assistance, has managed to give the Irish new reasons to believe following the disappointed spell under Giovanni Trapattoni. His 4-2-3-1 have provided solidity to the back-line to qualify to France. Now the 64-year-old has a chance to lead them to more glory as he did during his successful tenure at Celtic, when he won three leagues and reached the UEFA Cup final in 2002-2003.

Prediction: Group Stage. The chance to reach the last 16 for the first time looks low — having been drawn in a really tough group alongside Belgium, Italy and Sweden. Eden Hazard's nation are one of the favourites to win the Tournament, the Azzurri reached the final only four years ago and Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains key for Sweden — a threat for O'Neill's side ahead of their first game. Stopping the expected new Manchester United striker in his tracks at the opening stage is therefore crucial.