Euro 2016 play-offs: Initial Republic of Ireland roster named
Lee Gormley | October 28, 2015
O’Neill names provisional Ireland squad
Ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 play-off encounter with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Martin O’Neill has named his 39-man provisional squad, with the first leg taking on November 13th in Zenica, and the second in Dublin on November 16th.
The Irish squad will be shortened ahead of assembling together on November 9th, though O’Neill has several injury headaches ahead of their crucial match-ups, having finished third in qualifying Group d behind Germany and Poland.
MON on Irish fans: “If the atmosphere is anything like it was against Germany then we’ll give ourselves a great chance” #IRLBIH
— FAI (@FAIreland) October 28, 2015
O’Neill’s Boys in Green are 6/5 with Coral to secure a spot in France for next summer, but odds-on 4/6 to lose out on a position at the Euro finals to Bosnia and Herzegovina, who were outpointed by Belgium and Wales in Group B to finish third.
Irish injury concerns
Reading midfielder Stephen Quinn will miss out through injury for the Irish, while John O’Shea, Shane Long and Shay Given are all facing a race to full fitness. Sunderland centre back O’Shea will be absent for the first leg clash anyway, having picked up a red card in the previous Poland defeat which sealed their play-off fate.
“John has a bit of a hamstring problem but my understanding of it is that it’s a grade one tear which is clearly better than a grade three,” said O’Neill.
MON on Bosnia & Herzegovina: “I think they are strong and are coming good at the right time. But we’re going in with confidence” #IRLBIH
— FAI (@FAIreland) October 28, 2015
“Shane is optimistic but then Shane’s always optimistic. Even if he does feel that he’s absolutely fine then it’s a matter of getting back into the (Southampton) side at a time that they’ve been doing well. I expect that Shay will declare himself fit.”
O’Neill happy and confident for Bosnia battle
Overall, O’Neill insists that he is happy with the current situation within his recently-named set-up and is confident of getting the job done with his crop of players, who are 7/2 to topple their play-off opponents on the road.
“They are a very strong team with some really fine players in some big leagues but we’re going into the game with a lot of confidence,” continued the Derry-born boss.
“We have a few problems but nothing insurmountable. There isn’t a game that you go into without some injury or the occasional suspension. Those are just things that you have to cope with over the course of a tournament.”
After hopefully picking up a positive result at the Stadion Bilino Pole for their first leg encounter, Ireland then face Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, where they famously overcame world champions Germany during their qualifying campaign.
“We will play the second leg at the Aviva Stadium and that is a big plus for us because the Irish supporters were fantastic in our last game there against Germany and we know that there will be a similar atmosphere for this play-off,” O’Neill added.
Mehmed Bazdarevic’s hosts are odds-on 5/6 favourites to outgun Ireland on home soil in the first leg and 4/6 to qualify over both games, but the Boys in Green have showed they are capable of overcoming anyone and will be confident of reaching France next summer.
Full provisional Republic of Ireland squad to face Bosnia
Goalkeepers: David Forde (Millwall), Shay Given (Stoke City), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Rob Elliot (Newcastle United).
Defenders: Richard Keogh (Derby County), Marc Wilson (Stoke City), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Derby County), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Paul McShane (Reading), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Greg Cunningham (Preston North End), Robbie Brady (Norwich City).
Midfielders: James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Darron Gibson (Everton), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Eunan O’Kane (Bournemouth), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Paul Green (Rotherham United), Aiden McGeady (Everton), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Judge (Brentford), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City), David Meyler (Hull City), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City).
Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), Anthony Stokes (Celtic), David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town), Adam Rooney (Aberdeen), Simon Cox (Bristol City), (Jonathan Walters (Stoke City).
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