Thursday 23 November 2017

Stephanie Roche chooses the starting XI and formation Ireland should use against Scotland

Stephanie believes Shane Long should start against Scotland
Stephanie believes Shane Long should start against Scotland
Stephanie Roche

Stephanie Roche

Stephanie Roche believes Martin O'Neill should make tactical and personnel changes for Ireland's crucial Euro 2016 qualifier with Scotland in Jun.

Here is my starting 11 for the Scotland match (4-4-1-1)

GK. David Forde: Didn't agree with him being dropped. He's been good for us and while Given is obviously a legend and one of our greatest-ever players, he hasn't played consistently for the last four seasons. It just seemed like a strange move.

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Republic of Ireland's Shay Given and David Forde during squad training. Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin

RB. Seamus Coleman: He's one of our best defenders and gives a lot going forward. First name on the teamsheet in my opinion.

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Seamus Coleman

LB. Robbie Brady: Made a mistake for the goal against Poland but works hard for the team and is good on the ball going forward. The last thing he needs is for his confidence to be totally sapped if he gets the hook against Scotland.

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Robbie Brady, Republic of Ireland, celebrates after Shane Long scored their side's equalising goal

CB. John O'Shea: Solid at the back and worked well with Marc Wilson against Poland.

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John O’Shea celebrates his equaliser in Gelsenkirchen with Jon Walters and James McClean

CB. Marc Wilson: While he can also do a bob at left-full, I think his best position is in the middle of the defence. I wouldn’t change any of the back line from Sunday.

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Harry Redknapp is sure Marc Wilson is capable of filling the giant cavity left in the heart of the Ireland defence after Richard Dunne's retirement from internationals. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

CM. James McCarthy: Came in for some stick after his performance against Poland but he's a good all round midfielder and our best midfielder in my opinion. Players like him don’t do too much fancy stuff but fans need to appreciate his presence in the middle of the park.

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Ireland's James McCarthy battles with Jakub Wawrzyniak of Poland at the Aviva Stadium

CM. Glenn Whelan: Another who cops plenty of flak but he works hard and always puts in a shift when needed.

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Glenn Whelan battles it out with Arkadiusz Milik at the Aviva

RM. James McClean: He done very well when he came on against Poland and was our most dangerous player. Such an honest player who is strong on the ball and gets crosses into the box.

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Ireland's Championship contingent, Including James McClean, will need the game-time against England on June 7 to fine tune for the visit of Scotland one week later

LM. Aiden McGeady: Gets a rough time from fans a lot of the time but I think he brings a bit of flare that's needed. Needs more end product with deliveries into the box but gives defenders something to think about when running at them.

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29 March 2015; Aiden McGeady, Republic of Ireland, in action against Kamil Glik, Poland. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Poland. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

No.10: Wes Hoolahan: Very good on the ball. Finds little pockets to play in and is creative. I think he's needed in there.

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Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan

CF. Shane Long: Tough decision not playing Keane as he's our top goalscorer and captain and with Long only having two competitive goals to his name I may be sticking my head on the line here. But I think we need legs up front and someone who can be a target. With Hoolahan feeding off Long and vice versa I think we could be dangerous. Keane would also be a great option to pull from the bench too as we all know about his goal scoring abilities.

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29 March 2015; Republic of Ireland's Shane Long, 9, celebrates with team-mates Wesley Hoolahan, left, and James McClean after scoring his side's equalising goal. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Poland. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

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