Keane and Hoolahan were both excellent in the 7-0 win over Gibraltar. Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Selection headache

Quinn: My feeling is that Robbie and Wes might be sacrificed against Germans

The former Ireland striker says Shane Long and Glenn Whelan could be better suited for tonight’s qualifier.

NIALL QUINN BELIEVES Shane Long and Glenn Whelan could get the nod for Ireland in Gelsenkirchen tonight.

After two wins from two Euro 2016 qualifiers, the Boys in Green face Germany away from home (7.45pm kick-off Irish time) and will be hoping to catch the world champions on the hop after their shock 2-0 defeat to Poland over the weekend.

Ireland come into the game on the back of a 7-0 drubbing of Gibraltar in Dublin with Robbie Keane bagging a hat-trick and man-of-the-match Wes Hoolahan also on target.

Manager Martin O’Neill has got plenty of options as he formulates a plan to stop Joachim Löw’s side as the likes of Shane Long, Glenn Whelan, Stephen Quinn and Jon Walters are all aiming to return to the starting line-up.

And Quinn, who earned 92 senior international caps between 1986-2002, is predicting two changes at least.

“Will he (Hoolahan) play in a line of five?” said Quinn. “I don’t think that really suits him. I think he is more between the centre forward and the midfielders – that is his ideal place.

“Is it a game for that or is it one for Glenn Whelan to come in and protect the back four?

“Is Shane Long with his energy and his legs better to play the first hour or 70 minutes of this game? They are the key issues for Martin and they are all of equal importance in my book.

“I can see why Martin might be toying with the idea of playing Shane because he can put himself about a lot more than Robbie and make life difficult.

Poland stifled out their midfield and Lewandowski backed into people, held the ball up really well and brought players into the game at the right time.

“That’s not Robbie’s game as you know. He’s intuitive, he sees things early and when people pick him out for a chance he always loses his man. That’s a different type of job.

“Shane is best suited to that role although an in-form Kevin Doyle would be an option too. Daryl (Murphy) is a big lad but the way things have gone under Martin in the last year or so since he took the job, I think Shane is uppermost in his thinking if he altering that role.”

Shane Long James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Everton’s Seamus Coleman is still missing through injury along with club mate James McCarthy so David Meyler is likely to continue at right full-back. If that is the case, Quinn envisages a midfield trio of Whelan, Jeff Hendrick and Darron Gibson.

“If Meyler stays at right back, I do think Whelan with his experience can sit there and have Jeff (Hendrick) and Darron (Gibson) either side of him slightly more pushed on,” he added. “Then you’ve got your two wingers to back everything up on the flanks.

“There are other midfielders on the bench of course but I just think in that specific role against the world champions with his experience I think that he is the one that I would bring in.

“I would sacrifice Wes’ creativity for that. Certainly the first hour is not for Wes. Although Martin does things differently and that’s why he is so good. If Ireland take a shock lead because Wes Hoolahan then great because we will all say he got it right.

“My feeling is that Robbie and Wes might be sacrificed.”

Sky Sports is showing UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers as part of an autumn of sport that includes Premier League, Champions League, Guinness Pro12, European Rugby Champions Cup, Autumn Internationals,  Formula One and NFL at Wembley.

‘It’s a good time for Ireland to play Germany’ – Didi Hamann

Roy Keane: ‘We can’t sit back and expect to defend for 90 minutes against Germany’

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