A depleted Irish squad heads for New York to take on world and European champions Spain, almost a year on since the heavy defeat in Gdansk. Dave O’Grady, host of the YBIG Football Show, looks ahead to the clash and considers who might feature for a new-look Ireland.
This week the Boys in Green go up against Spain hoping for a better result then the 4-0 drubbing at Euro 2012. An 8pm local kick-off time on Tuesday means that the air around New York should be cooler and won’t play a factor in affecting the performance.
If some negative pundits are already looking to make excuses for what could be a Spanish exhibition with Ireland purely accommodating their needs, then they can at least say that the Republic go into the game short of several key members of the team.
We were all hoping to see Wes Hoolahan have a shot at the Spanish but a hamstring injury has ruled him out along with Marc Wilson, who got a metal plate taken out of his leg this week.
But let’s not concede to this ‘expected’ inevitable hammering just yet. There are still a number of good players making the trip and we should be able to compete and ‘play football’ if the right team is selected.
Let me suggest this team:
We might be quite weak going up against Spain with Cox on the wing – we have a serious lack of wingers available – but I believe if we play Stephen Quinn in the hole, he could create a few chances. A playmaker, like Hoolahan, he is very good in that position.
I still cannot decide between David Meyler and Jeff Hendrick. Both are very good physical players. Perhaps Hendrick is a little more creative but Meyler has done excellently this season going forward, scoring and setting up goals for Hull City. Hendrick is a real box-to-box type player and has a real chance of getting bought by a Premier League club. Remember, he is only 21.
If Trap is determined to stick with the rigid 4-4-2 then I would simply swap Quinn with Cox and play Quinn on the right with Cox going in beside Keane.
This will be a very different situation to the clash back in June 2012, but at least this time, we can see how Coleman, McCarthy and McClean do against the best in the world, a scenario which should have happened at Euro 2012!
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