23 September 2014 11:36
Republic of Ireland coach Martin O’Neill has shown few surprises in naming his squad to face Gibraltar and Germany in Euro 2016 qualifying.
The Irish will look to continue their positive start in Group D after winning their opening fixture against Georgia 2-1 last month courtesy of Aiden McGeady’s last-minute blockbuster.
O’Neill has retained the 23 players who comprised the selection for that fixture, as well as adding a further 14 names to a provisional squad that will be cut down.
John O’Shea sits on 98 caps and is in line to reach three figures for his country if given game-time against both Gibraltar and Germany.
The Sunderland man would become the sixth man to reach a century for the Irish following Damien Duff, Steve Staunton, Kevin Kilbane, Shay Given and current captain Robbie Keane.
Keane himself will once again be expected to provide the attacking spark, especially against world champions Germany in a fixture that will evoke memories of the veteran’s stunning 92nd-minute goal to rescue a 1-1 draw against the Germans at the 2002 World Cup.
However, the Irish will want to quickly forget their two most recent encounters with Germany that took place in qualifying for the World Cup, a 6-1 hammering in Dublin in October 2012 was followed by a 3-0 reverse in Cologne in March last year.
Before a trip to Schalke’s Veltins-Arena on October 14 to face Joachim Low’s world-beaters, Ireland will tackle Gibraltar for the first time in their history at the Aviva Stadium three days earlier.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), David Forde (Millwall), Shay Given (Aston Villa), Darren Randolph, (Birmingham City), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)
Defenders: Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace), Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers), Stephen Kelly (Reading), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Paul McShane (Hull City), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Reading), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Marc Wilson (Stoke City)
Midfielders: Robbie Brady (Hull City), Darron Gibson (Everton), Paul Green (Rotherham United), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), James McCarthy (Everton), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Aiden McGeady (Everton), David Meyler (Hull City), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City), Stephen Quinn (Hull City), Andy Reid (Nottingham Forest), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City)
Forwards: Simon Cox (Reading), Kevin Doyle (Crystal Palace), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town), Connor Sammon (Ipswich Town), Anthony Stokes (Celtic), Jon Walters (Stoke City)