With the friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay down, attention for Ireland now turns to next week’s World Cup qualifier against Austria.
Martin O’Neill’s side successfully put Thursday night’s poor showing in New Jersey behind them on Sunday, defeating the Uruguayans 3-1 in a fine performance by the Boys in Green.
With so many players putting in good shifts (and some that could perhaps do better), O’Neill’s starting eleven selection in Dublin next weekend is all the more intriguing.
In analysing Ireland’s match against Uruguay, RTE pundits Kenny Cunningham and Richie Sadlier selected the starting eleven they believe O’Neill should field next weekend.
Perhaps the biggest call is in central midfield, where it does seem to be a case of three of Glenn Whelan, Harry Arter, Wes Hoolahan and Jeff Hendrick getting the nod (assuming the latter is not given a wide role), and the former internationals have settled on Whelan and Hendrick (with Wes as a number ten) despite Arter’s strong showing against Uruguay.
In terms of the goalkeeper, Darren Randolph was substituted at half-time after making the error that led to Jose Gimenez’s equaliser, but they don’t believe that this will be enough to keep the West Ham out of the side on Sunday, In central defence, meanwhile, they have opted for Richard Keogh to partner Shane Duffy ahead of the likes of John O’Shea and Kevin Long.
As the only specialist full-backs, Stephen Ward and Cyrus Christie are nailed-on to start in Dublin (though O’Neill was still full of praise for the latter after the friendly).
The panel keep Jonathan Walters up front and opt for James McClean on the right wing, with Robbie Brady on the left and Hoolahan in the middle.
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 5, 2017