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
Saturday, June 18
Wednesday, June 22
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: 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.