We know from Friday’s draw that the path towards Euro2020 for the Republic of Ireland could run through Windsor Park in Belfast.

First of all the two Irish teams need to get past away trips against Slovakia and Bosnia Herzegovina.

It will not be easy for either but the prize of playing in the finals of the biggest sporting tournament to be staged in Europe next year will deliver a rich reward.

We will know who we will likely be playing against should we make it to the finals as soon as next Saturday when the draw for the different groups, with us as an asterisk, will be made in Bucharest.

When it comes to the game against Slovakia it looks most likely that we should be practising our penalty shoot out technique.

In five games between the teams, there have been four draws, the lastest being on 29th March 2016 when we played out a 2-2 draw. It was 0-0 in 2011, 1-1 in 2010 and 2-2 away in 2007 after the Republic of Ireland won the first meeting between the teams 1-0 in March of that same year.

Northern Ireland will find less comfort in the history books having lost their two previous encounters with Bosnia Herzegovina, both in last year’s Nations League.

The Republic of Ireland has a win and a draw against the same rivals should that be the final.

If however, it comes down to an Island of Ireland Win or Bust clash then a look at history will likely prove an awful lot less important than the noise and the passion that there will be on the night.

The sides have met 12 times with the Republic winning four, Northern Ireland winning two and five being drawn including the last held last year at the Aviva Stadium.

It’s all getting very real for the Euro 2020 hopes and dreams.