In the Republic of Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview, we look ahead to the team’s schedule and squad, as well as predicting how far we think Ireland will advance in the tournament.

Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview

Manager: Martin O’Neill

Captain: Robbie Keane

Republic of Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview: Fixtures:

Monday, June 13

Ireland vs. Sweden, Noon, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

Saturday, June 18

Belgium vs. Ireland, 9am, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

Wednesday, June 22

Italy vs. Ireland, 3pm, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

SEE MORE: Schedule of Euro 2016 games on US TV and streaming

Republic of Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview: Squad:

Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Stoke), Darren Randolph (West Ham), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday).

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Derby), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Richard Keogh (Derby), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Shane Duffy (Blackburn), Stephen Ward (Burnley)

Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Everton), James McClean (West Brom), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby), David Meyler (Hull), Stephen Quinn (Reading), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich), Robbie Brady (Norwich), Jonathan Walters (Stoke)

Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich)

Republic of Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview

Republic of Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview: Overview:

The Republic of Ireland are no strangers when it comes to testing groups and thankfully for their fanatical supporters, The Boys in Green were able to emerge from another one, through a tricky playoff and into the competition proper this summer.

O’Neill’s side did leave it late, admittedly. Their qualification hopes were hanging by a thread as they welcomed world champions Germany to the Aviva Stadium in their penultimate qualifying match. But the Republic produced a stirring display to book a playoff spot against Bosnia-Herzegovina, which they won by a 3-1 aggregate scoreline.

Having battled so hard to get into the 24-team tournament, once again Ireland have been handed some extremely capable opponents. Four years ago they were outclassed by Spain—eventual winners—, Italy—runners-up—and a talented Croatia outfit in their three group games. Just Belgium, Sweden and, once again, the Azzurri await this time round.

The win over Germany—not to mention a 1-1 draw in Dortmund—should at least inspire some confidence in the Irish players, having previously wilted when up against the bigger sides. In Shane Long they have a forward tailor made for counter-attacking football, while the midfield base of James McCarthy and Glenn Whelan has blossomed in recent fixtures.

Where they are a little short is in defense, with the aging John O’Shea set to start alongside Derby County’s Richard Keogh at centre-back. Stalwarts Shay Given and Keane will also be at the tournament, although aged 40 and 35, respectively, are not set to be part of the starting XI.

As well as their never-say-die spirit, the traveling supporters will always be a huge asset to this team. The Irish made themselves heard at every venue in 2012 and will be desperate to see their men give them some wins to celebrate in France this summer.

Republic of Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview: Key Player:

James McCarthy – Having had his role questioned by a lot of supporters, McCarthy has finally started to win his doubters over when it comes to the national side.

The catalyst for that change in opinion was the Everton man’s performance against Germany. Almost single-handedly he shut down a midfield containing the likes of Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan. With more quality opposition to come he’ll have to be at his energetic best once again in the European Championships.

Admittedly it’s not been the best campaign for McCarthy at club level, with no defined role in a muddled Toffees team. O’Neill will challenge him to spoil opposition attacks and offer his side a foothold in contests in the three group games, a job the 25-year-old has done with distinction in the green jersey as of late.

Republic of Ireland: Euro 2016 team preview: Verdict:

Group Stage Elimination – Group E is arguably the most difficult one to call in this tournament. While Belgium are the favorites, Italy are without some key men and Sweden, Zlatan Ibrahimovic aside, have shown vulnerabilities. Even so, Ireland don’t have the guile to match these outfits and will be made to rue another difficult draw at a major tournament.

Ireland home jersey

ireland-home-jersey-euro-2016

The official 16/17 Ireland Home Jersey from Umbro.

Find out how to order the Ireland home jersey today.

Ireland away jersey

ireland-away-jersey-euro-2016

The official 16/17 Ireland Away Jersey from Umbro.

Find out how to order the Ireland away jersey today.

Euro 2016 team previews

• Albania team preview
• Austria team preview
• Belgium team preview
• Croatia team preview
• Czech Republic team preview
• England team preview
• France team preview
• Germany team preview
• Hungary team preview
• Iceland team preview
• Italy team preview
• Northern Ireland team preview
• Poland team preview
• Portugal team preview
• Republic of Ireland team preview
• Romania team preview
• Russia team preview
• Slovakia team preview
• Spain team preview
• Sweden team preview
• Switzerland team preview
• Turkey team preview
• Ukraine team preview
• Wales team preview

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