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4 Ireland players we'd like to see get a chance for tomorrow night's Poland friendly

Ronan Curtis and others who could be given an opportunity by Martin O’Neill.

1. Ronan Curtis

Ronan Curtis Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

With Jon Walters having withdrawn from the squad through injury following the Wales defeat, Ireland were looking short of attacking options. Somewhat conveniently for the senior side, a booking Curtis picked up for the U21s meant he would miss tomorrow’s crucial qualifier with Germany in Tallaght. The Portsmouth player, who hit Ireland’s equaliser in Kosovo last week, has five goals in six league games at club level and feels like a welcome addition to a team who has been lacking in goal threat for a while now.

2. Sean McDermott

Sean McDermott Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Generally, the point of friendlies is to experiment with different players. At this stage, Martin O’Neill will be well aware of what Darren Randolph can do. Consequently, there is surely no harm in giving the 25-year-old Norway-born stopper an opportunity to impress. The uncapped McDermott played for Arsenal at youth level and these days lines out for Norwegian side Kristiansund BK.

3. Alan Judge

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Alan Judge celebrates his late goal Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

As well as suffering frequent defensive mishaps, Ireland were also poor going forward against Wales, registering just five shots compared with their opponents’ 18 attempts. Creativity was sorely lacking in the team’s play and the presence of Judge, the only player in the squad not to make the bench on Thursday, would at least ensure Ireland are a bit more inventive going forward. The Dubliner has not had the best of times at club level recently, as he has been deployed solely as an impact sub by Brentford in the Championship this season. However, he did hit the winner in Ireland’s recent summer friendly with USA, and could be handed another chance by O’Neill on Tuesday night.

4. Matt Doherty

Matt Doherty Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Irish players getting regular Premier League football are an increasing rarity these days, however Doherty falls under this category. The 26-year-old has impressed at Wolves, starting all four of their top-flight matches so far this season. Capable of playing on both the left or right side of defence, with Stephen Ward returning to his club with a foot injury and Seamus Coleman also ruled out, tomorrow could be the ideal time to try out the Dubliner at full-back.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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