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Football

08th Oct 2015

Martin O’Neill springs two big surprises in Ireland side to face Germany

This is it

Conan Doherty

Come on you boys in green!

Martin O’Neill has named his final home team of the Euro 2016 qualifying group.

It seems that proposing to the Germans that we mix the sides didn’t work so, injury ravaged and suspension riddled, O’Neill and Keane have done what they could with the Irish players available.

The shock news is that Daryl Murphy and Stephen Ward have both been named in O’Neill’s starting XI.

Murphy started the 1-1 draw with Scotland in June, but is a surprise inclusion given that Shane Long has been in reasonable form for Southampton recently.

Seamus Coleman misses out through injury so Cyrus Christie takes his place at right back.

Ward comes into the side at left-back, with Robbie Brady pushing into midfield.

John O’Shea also has a new partner in the centre of defence in Richard Keogh while Glenn Whelan and James McClean’s absences give the midfield a newer look.

Murphy starts up front, meaning Shane Long and Robbie Keane start on the bench.

We’re predicting a 4-4-1-1 as follows:

Given

Christie – Keogh – O’Shea – Ward

Walters – McCarthy – Hendrick – Brady

Hoolahan

Murphy

A win for Ireland tonight would guarantee them at least third place in Group D but all of the island will also be keeping an eye on Hampden Park where fourth placed Scotland entertain second placed Poland. A win for either side will affect the Irish.

But the world champions are in Dublin. And this is the chosen 11 to go and give them a hostile welcome.

The German team is strong. They are the world champions for God’s sake.

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