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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 24 September 2020

Here's what the Ireland starting XI to face Slovakia should be

Martin O’Neill is set to field another experimental side for Tuesday’s game at the Aviva Stadium.

Alan Judge will be hoping to get another chance to impress Martin O'Neill.
Alan Judge will be hoping to get another chance to impress Martin O'Neill.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Rob Elliot: Martin O’Neill has always said that Elliot would get a chance, and given that he didn’t play in Friday’s match, the Newcastle stopper looks a certainty to start on Tuesday.

Cyrus Christie: Everyone knows what Seamus Coleman can do, so Christie deserves a chance to consolidate his spot as deputy right-back.

John O’Shea: Martin O’Neill has indicated O’Shea will start against the Slovaks, and it’ll be good for the Waterford native, who’s only been featuring off the bench for Sunderland of late.

Richard Keogh: Keogh-O’Shea looks the most likely central defensive pairing at the Euros, so the more minutes the duo can get on the pitch together, the better.

Stephen Ward: Robbie Brady looked a little vulnerable against the Swiss defensively on Friday, so a strong showing from Ward — who has been in good form in the Championship lately — could force Martin O’Neill to think twice about the identity of the starting left-back.

Stephen Gleeson: One of the few fringe players who didn’t get a chance to impress on Friday, Gleeson is considered very much a dark horse for selection, and so would need a very strong performance to put himself in the frame for France

James McCarthy: Played half an hour against the Swiss and made an impact when he came on. Tuesday’s match will need some established players and McCarthy is a prime candidate, given his absence from the majority of Friday’s game.

Jonny Hayes: Another outside bet for the Euros, Hayes didn’t get enough time on Friday to impose himself on the match and deserves one more chance against Slovakia.

Alan Judge: Played the full 90 minutes against Switzerland and while he put in a decent shift, he scarcely had much of an opportunity to influence the play in attack, given how rarely he received the ball in dangerous areas. Judge started at right wing the other night, and will be hoping to get a chance in his favoured number 10 role on Tuesday.

James McClean: Martin O’Neill has suggested McClean will play and given what he’s added from the bench in recent times, the West Brom winger deserves a chance to prove he can make a substantial impact from the outset.

Shane Long: Despite featuring for 84 minutes on Friday, the other strikers — Jon Walters, Daryl Murphy, Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle — are all injured, so O’Neill seems left with little choice but to pick Long again.



Christie O’Shea Keogh Ward

Gleeson McCarthy

Hayes Judge McClean


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Paul Fennessy

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