Following Ireland’s 1-0 defeat to Scotland at Celtic Park last Friday, we pick out five players who should feature against the USA in an effort to give Martin O’Neill something different to think about heading into Ireland’s next round of competitive fixtures.
The Dubliner came on in the 68th minute to replace Shane Long on Friday and provided much needed quality from set-pieces. One of which made it’s way onto the Scottish crossbar via a deflection. The 22-year-old has a devastating turn of pace and could easily fill in or even replace the likes of James Mclean out wide.
Brady is still learning the game and the USA friendly should be used to boost the experience of the Hull City man who is still capable of becoming a big player for Ireland in the future.
One could argue Stokes is one of the better options to play up front on his own due to his height and physical presence.
The Celtic frontman deserves a chance following Ireland’s shutout against the Scots. Although Robbie Keane and Shane Long may be better technical players, it could be a good experiment to see how Stokes fares up front on his own, or possibly alongside Daryl Murphy.
With four goals in ten Scottish Premiership appearances as well as four assists, this proves that Stokes is capable of finding the net as well as linking up with the players around him, something Long failed to do – for the most part – on his own against the Scots.
The Ipswich Town striker has been in outstanding form this season, scoring nine goals in 16 games for the Tractor Boys. With Ireland being shutout by Scotland and living largely off scraps in the final third, a player who is high on confidence and regularly scoring for his club side could surely do no harm against the Americans tomorrow night.
With Shane Long failing to score, a fresh forward pairing of Murphy and Stokes against the USA could give the manager something to think about going into Ireland’s next set of Euro 2016 qualifiers, albeit with both players competing at a lower club standard.
At 22, Christie has a long career ahead of him and the USA clash may be a good early test for the young defender to show what he can do.
Roy Keane alluded to the fact that Christie offers the Irish management team a more ‘natural’ option at right-back, without having to play David Meyler in defence, according to his comments in the Irish Independent.
Brian Lenihan has been named in preliminary squads in the past as a back-up in this area and could feature there in the future but with Christie having more experience, it gives the Ireland boss someone else to think about without being too reliant on Seamus Coleman.
The Hull City midfielder looked more lively when he came on against Scotland than Darren Gibson or Jeff Hendrick had up until that point. Quinn gave Ireland more steel in the middle, although by the time he came on the Scots had managed to get on top, culminating in Shaun Maloney’s goal.
One can argue that the midfield was often bypassed by long balls directed towards Jon Walters and Shane Long but a different option in midfield must be considered going into the USA clash.
David Meyler is also another option but with such little game time he cannot be considered ahead of his fellow Hull teammate Quinn.
Who would you give a chance to against the USA tomorrow night? Have we left anyone out? Let us know in the comments section below.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena