Ireland's potential opponents in the last 16 of Euro 2016 do not look promising

We take a look at all the scenarios that could see the side reach the knockout stages

BY Daniel Kelly 10:13 Monday 14 December 2015, 10:13 14 Dec 2015

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Gwendoline Le Goff

After Saturday's Euro 2016 draw, many Irish fans found it hard to look past Sweden, Belgium and Italy, but with the expanded tournament, Martin O'Neill's side still have a realistic chance of reaching the last 16.

Here are some of the scenarios that Ireland may face if they reach the knockout stages.

Group E winners

As unlikely as it may seem, should Ireland win the group they will return to the Stade de France on June 27th, two weeks after facing Sweden in the same venue. The winners of Group E will face the runners-up in Group D. European champions Spain are expected to win that group which would mean one of Croatia, Turkey or the Czech Republic finishing in second place.

Group E runners-up

Finishing as runners-up in the group may seem a more likely an option than winning Group E. If Ireland do that, they will face a trip to Toulouse on June 26th where they would face the winners of Group F. That looks likely to be one of Portugal or Austria as group winners.

Group E third place

If Ireland are to reach the last 16, their most likely way of doing so is in third place. If that happens, Martin O'Neill's side could end up in two venues and neither opponent looks like an easy task for the Boys in Green.

While all the group winners and runners-up can easily plan their paths, the third place teams wont know their opponents until the group stages end. Luckily for Ireland, Group E will be the last to complete the group stage, so the side will know what is needed ahead of the Italian game.

The two dates for the diary are a trip to Lens on June 25th or Lyon the following day. Should Ireland end up in Lens, they will face the winner of Group D, which looks very likely to be Spain (even if they are fighting among themselves already).

If they have to travel to Lyon, the Group A winners will lie in wait, which would potentially be the hosts France.

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