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Here's The Ireland Team We Would Pick To Face Georgia

Here's The Ireland Team We Would Pick To Face Georgia
By Gary Connaughton
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After a really poor performance against Gibraltar, there is certainly plenty of room for improvement for this Ireland team. Georgia are likely to provide a far stiffer test on Tuesday night, and Mick McCarthy's side will need to be much improved for that one.

But what changes should he make for that game? While the Ireland boss is unlikely to make massive changes, we feel there are a couple of alterations he could make to get the team back on track.

Formation: 4-2-3-1

While 3-5-2 could still be the best option, McCarthy is unlikely to make such a drastic change in the space of a few days. That leaves us with this formation, which is only a slight tweak to the Gibraltar game.

Having two up front did not work, as evidenced by McCarthy's decision to abandon it in the closing stages. An advanced midfielder could provide Ireland with some of the creativity they were crying out for in that game.

GK: Darren Randolph

If it wasn't for Darren Randolph, Ireland could be in a far more perilous position heading into this game. The Middlesbrough man pulled off a stunning save to deny Gibraltar the lead at the start of the second half, just a couple of moments before Hendrick's opener.

RB: Seamus Coleman

Coleman started the game against Gibraltar quite brightly, and was probably Ireland's main attacking outlet in the opening half. He had a much quieter second period, but is still deserving of his place in the team.

Judging how the last couple of games against Georgia went, Coleman's defensive abilities could be equally as important.

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CB: Shane Duffy

Duffy is without doubt Ireland's in-form defender at the moment, putting in some incredible performances for Brighton this season. He was solid in the Gibraltar game and never really gave them a sniff in open play.

When you consider Ireland's lack of creativity in open play, his prowess from set-pieces is also a major plus.

CB: John Egan

Richard Keogh didn't do a whole lot wrong in the previous game, but we want to see John Egan given an opportunity on Tuesday night. He has had an excellent season at Sheffield United, marshalling one of the top defences in the Championship.

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One of the noticeable aspects of Ireland's approach against Gibraltar was less long balls out of the defence into forward areas in comparison to the O'Neill era. If McCarthy does indeed want to play out from the back more often, Egan is also much more suited to that style in comparison to Keogh.

LB: Enda Stevens

Stevens was not at his best in the opening game, but he definitely deserves another chance in this game. He is a fantastic attacking fullback when given the opportunity, and you would hope he to see him get forward more against Georgia.

Slotting in clubmate John Egan alongside him would also no doubt be beneficial, with the two forming a strong partnership with The Blades this season.

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CM: Harry Arter

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While McCarthy went with two central midfielders against Gibraltar, the slight tweak in formation leaves room for Arter's inclusion here. He was lively upon his introduction in that game, and is well capable of getting around the pitch.

He will shoulder most of the defensive duties in this side, although he is capable of picking out a pass as well.

CM: Conor Hourihane

Hourihane was Ireland's best player yesterday, offering some rare creativity from the middle third. He was not shy in looking for the ball, and tried to get Ireland playing when he could. With Ireland trying to pass out from the back more, having a player with his abilities is vital.

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RM: Matt Doherty

While Mick McCarthy seemed to indicate that the Matt Doherty 'experiment' failed against Gibraltar, we feel it is worth another shot in this one. Doherty actually played well in the opening half, showing some encouraging link up play with Seamus Coleman at times.

Taking him off 10 minutes into the second period was a harsh move by the Ireland boss. With better conditions and a pitch more conducive to playing attractive football, the Wolves standout should be given another opportunity to impress.

CAM: Jeff Hendrick

The question of where to put Jeff Hendrick in this team is not one with an obvious answer. Playing in a deeper role yesterday, he failed to show for the ball when Duffy or Keogh ventured out of the defence. He didn't link the play successfully in the middle third as a result, with Hourihane providing an example of how it should be done.

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Saying this, he did break forward well at times. His goal was of course the best example of this, arriving at the edge of the area to tuck home David McGoldrick's neat pullback. With the burden of having to start attacks from deep removed, Hendrick could thrive in a slightly more advanced role.

LM: Alan Judge

This was a difficult selection. James McClean was absolutely dreadful against Gibraltar, and nothing about his performance suggested he deserved to be in the starting team for this one. The Derry man's energetic and passionate style may be best suited to 'impact sub' duties.

Meanwhile, Robbie Brady does not look fit enough to start. He is still getting back into the swing of things after his recent injury layoff.

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That leaves Alan Judge, and he may actually be the best option anyway. He has thrived in this exact role for Ipswich Town as of late, drifting in from the left to make things happen in the final third. He has that bit of magic about him, something that was definitely lacking yesterday.

By drifting in field, he would also leave room for Enda Stevens to get forward, with McClean often getting in the way of the left back in the last game.

ST: David McGoldrick

Despite what some onlookers would have you believe, McGoldrick was actually one of Ireland's better performers in the Gibraltar game. He ran the channels well, competed in the air, and linked up the play well when given the opportunity.

Maguire looked somewhat out of sorts in the last game. Some of that may be down to the lack of service, but McGoldrick did not have the same issue. The Sheffield United man has been amongst the goals this season and should be given the chance to transfer that form into an Ireland jersey.

The Team In Full

This slight formation change should offer Ireland a bit more creativity in the final third and help in retaining possession. The main questions relate to the left midfield role, as well the Doherty/Coleman conundrum.

Mick McCarthy could well go with the same team once again, but a couple of tweaks could be what is needed to kick this team into gear.

SEE ALSO: John Delaney Takes 'Substantial Salary Reduction' In New FAI Role

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