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These Are The Players Who Need To Step Up If We're To Beat Bosnia

Jeremy Fullam
By Jeremy Fullam
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Drawing Bosnia in the Euro 2016 play off's yielded a mixed reaction from Irish fans.

There are those of us who are happy to have avoided Ukraine and Zlatan Imbrahimovic's Sweden, and there are those of us who are happy to have avoided Ukraine and would rather a shot at an average Sweden team with one superstar.

There's no doubting we can beat Bosnia over two legs, we did beat the world champions after all, and we can usually pull out a big performance when required.

But make no mistake, Bosnia have some quality players, and they're technically a better team than us, so it will take a huge effort from everyone to get the required result.

One thing that is not in our favour is the number of absentees we currently have, with Shane Long potentially injured for the clash and Jon Walters and John O'Shea suspended. O'Shea's injury in the Tyne-Wear derby may even keep him out of the home leg too.

With three guaranteed starters likely to miss out we need some of our reserve players to step up to the plate and prove themselves ahead of the crunch fixture in just over a fortnight.

Daryl Murphy


The big target man was a surprise inclusion from the start against Germany and he put in a good shift before coming off for the pacier Shane Long.

Unfortunately for Murphy his season has not quite got going yet, and he's yet to score after 11 appearances. He is also yet to get off the mark for Ireland despite being capped 16 times.

We know Murphy has the quality, he finished as the Championship's top scorer last year with 27 and was the subject of a £4 million bid from Championship high flyers Middlesbrough.


Ipswich have three very winnable games between now and the Bosnia fixture, and with Murphy likely to be playing some part for us in two weeks we could really do with him regaining his best form.

Aiden McGeady

McGeady has to be one of the most frustrating Irish players in recent history. We all know he is capable of producing some magic at any given time but he can also be so wasteful at times.


The Everton winger is likely to come in for the suspended Walters, a player on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Walters is a no nonsense hard working utility man whilst McGeady is a flair player with "limited" defensive abilities.


However, despite his defensive frailties McGeady is one of very few Irish players who's capable of pulling a rabbit out of the hat, as seen when he single handedly beat Georgia in Tblisi last year. His selection is a risk, but it could pay off big time.

Similarly to Murphy, McGeady's season is not going according to plan, he's well and truly down the pecking order at Everton and has only managed one substitute appearance all year. If he's to play any part in the play off's he'll need to play with confidence which he's not going to get sitting on the Everton bench.


Still worth a go if he can produce another moment like this.

Alex Pearce


With O'Shea injured we need someone to step up at centre half. Richard Keogh did a fine job in the last round of qualifiers and looks nailed on to start against the Bosnians.

Who'll be partnering him is another question, Ciaran Clark could slot in beside him after recovering from injury or Marc Wilson could revert to centre half, leaving Robbie Brady to play left back.

There's no doubt Brady's best performances have come in midfield and it would be a shame to see him wasted at left back.


This leaves Derby's Alex Pearce as an alternative option at centre back. The former Reading skipper earned himself a move to Championship high flyers Derby after a successful spell with the Royals, but he's yet to start a game this season.

If Pearce can somehow manage to get some playing time under his belt he could be a serious option. He offers a goal threat too having netted frequently in his Reading days, and he's already scored twice in 6 caps for Ireland, albeit against Oman, on both occasions.

David McGoldrick

McGoldrick will probably be behind both clubmate Daryl Murphy and Robbie Keane in the pecking order, however I believe he should be more seriously considered giving our current absentee crisis.

The forward works well with Murphy at club level and unlike the Waterford native he has managed to get off the mark this season.

The only thing going against McGoldrick is his inexperience at International level, he has only earned two caps thus far, but the Ipswich player has a powerful shot and is known for pulling long rangers out of nothing.

He has the same winnable run of games as Daryl Murphy and if he impresses in them he could find himself with a major role to play in just over two weeks time.


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