So now that we have the preliminaries out of the way what would be your team for the German game assuming everyone is available?
I’d make a couple of changes: I’d drop O’Shea or Ward, probably the former, and start Coleman. He’s not as defensive minded as either of the other two but O’Shea in particular has been really poor defensively in recent matches and there’s no room for him at centre back at the moment and he doesn’t deserve his place there ahead of O’Dea, never mind Dunne and St Ledger.
I’d be bringing Andrews back for McCarthy, and have Whelan sitting on Ozil. I may even consider going for 3 in there with one of the strikers dropping out but I don’t think we have much hope of matching them in midfield so both central players will have to play very deep to look after Ozil and the wider support attackers moving in centrally.
Long and Doyle have both made a case for inclusion on the basis of tonight with Doyle certainly impressive at the weekend. Walters hasn’t been as dynamic in recent games and I’d drop him and have him to come on with 20 minutes to go if required. Probably start Doyle alongside Keane so with McClean getting Cox’s place on the wing.
Loads of debatable decisions there and there are so many players who are much of a muchness it’s unreal. You could make an argument for any 1, 2 or 3 of the 5 strikers. Andrews is probably the only central midfielder who deserves his place but nobody else has shown enough and unless Meyler gets games in the meantime he’s not going to be the answer.