On current form, Paul McShane makes the starting team: Power ranking Ireland's Euro 2016 hopefuls 3 years ago

On current form, Paul McShane makes the starting team: Power ranking Ireland's Euro 2016 hopefuls

No hiding from the numbers.

The run-in to France is well and truly on and Martin O'Neill has over 40 players to mull over before selecting his final 23-man squad.

The Republic of Ireland head for Euro 2016 with 25 men having already tasted qualifier action. Over a dozen more have been involved in preliminary squads or featured in recent friendlies and there are outside wildcards who are making a late surge for international call-ups.

To keep track of them all and their progress, we're starting a new weekly series analysing how each of the Irish hopefuls are stacking up statistically in their leagues.

Using the player ratings from WhoScored.com, we're studying every player's last three league games. Cold stats are all that matter.

Only English Premier League players and English Championship players are rated.

We will keep a close eye on those League One, SPL and League of Ireland hopefuls along the way too but, for now, the men in the top two English tiers will be dissected.

Every player will be judged on their last three league games.

0.5 will be deducted from their final scores for each game a player misses within his own three-game period. (Unfortunately this amounts to zero in a lot of Irish cases)inpho-00866884

Darron Gibson's last three league games span as far back as November, for example, so after points were deducted for missing games, his form rating is 0.65.

To account for standard of competition, the SportsJOE multiplier comes in. For a Premier League player, his average WhoScored.com rating will be multiplied by 1. For a Championship player, it will be multiplied by 0.8.

Already, there's some glaring information to be had from the power ranking table.

Neither Darren Randolph or Shay Given even score because of their non-existent league form. League One David Forde isn't rated. Instead, three other goalkeepers are currently way ahead of them in the rankings - two of which are playing in the Premier League.

Harry Arter is a top 10 player. Greg Cunningham and Paul McShane rank very highly despite their Championship handicap and Wolves hotshot Joe Mason is the third highest ranked forward (remember the MLS is in off-season mode at present).

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Seamus Coleman leads the way along with James McCarthy, James McClean and Shane Long - four men performing consistently at the top level for their clubs.

Blackburn's Darragh Lenihan and Bristol City's Derrick Williams have put themselves in contention, according to the form table.

Aston Villa's Mark Bunn leads the way for the goalkeepers. The English-born number one is uncapped at international level but has already stated his desire to break into the Ireland squad which he qualifies for through his father.

Along with Shay Given, Darren Randolph, and Marc Wilson, all three of Richie Towell, Alex Pearce and Joey O'Brien are sitting on 0.0 for their current form with June inching ever closer.

If we were to Moneyball the shit out of this and base it solely on stats and current form (league form), below is the team Martin O'Neill would be picking to line out for Euro 2016, if the competition started tomorrow. It isn't half bad though, is it?

The science works.

IRE