I just heard on the news this evening that the game against Wales at the end of March is a sell-out.
The FAW have been allocated 3,500 away tickets and the FAI have confirmed that Irish fans will receive the same number of tickets for the reverse fixture in Cardiff.
In related news, it was reported yesterday that Gareth Bale will return to training with Real Madrid this week: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/f...-a7542286.html
He's still a while off returning to first-team action, but it's looking increasingly likely that he'll be fit to play come the end of March, assuming he experiences no setbacks along the way.
Originally Posted by The Independent
Bale will return to the Real Madrid squad for their game against Espanyol tomorrow: http://www.goal.com/en/news/722/la-l...onfirms-zidane
Originally Posted by Zinedine Zidane
Pride goeth before the FAW.
Bale has just come on in the 70th minute for Real Madrid.
Edit - and scores to make it 2-0.
Last edited by DeLorean; 18/02/2017 at 3:57 PM.
Along with the upcoming qualifier against Wales, it should be noted that the friendly game against Iceland takes place after the qualifier and gives an opportunity for experimentation, as opposed to the Uruguay friendly in June which takes place before the Austria game and will likely be used for fine-tuning of the squad and tactics. And with the large number of Irish players making their mark this season, I thought it might be a good idea to think about who we could give caps to in that game. As such I’ve compiled a list of players who could reasonably stake a claim and put it up for debate. So the two questions I want you guys to answer are:
- How many of these players should be given a run-out? If we cap too few or none of them, are we missing a golden opportunity to blood in players who could conceivably play a part in the fall qualifiers? If we give too many of them a game does it become a pointless exercise as they don’t get to play with established squad members?
- Who should play?
In order to define “players who could reasonably stake a claim” I’ve come up with the following criteria: players should be under 30 (as we’d be primarily be looking at players for future campaigns), with five or fewer caps and who have broken through at Championship level at least, even if recently (but they must have some game time under their belt, so bench sitters are omitted, and must still be in the squad). I have made an exception to these criteria for the Aberdeen duo and for goalkeepers with significant Premier League experience. I have also assumed that some currently injured players will be back in time. Also, after giving it a bit of thought I have included the potentially eligible players who have been under consideration recently but have not committed to us yet – based on the advice of Clinton Morrison to such players, if they haven’t given us an answer by then, then they’re probably not interested. The criteria may not be perfect, as it includes players who nobody thinks will ever get close to the squad, but I didn’t want to omit players who may not get much limelight but are still playing at a high level. So without further ado, here’s the list of players we could blood in against Iceland:
Robert Elliott, Mark Bunn, Stephen Henderson
Aidan White, Corey O’Keefe, Tommie Hoban, Derrick Williams, John Egan, Tom Field, Damien McCrory, Greg Cunningham, Matt Doherty
Harry Arter, Adam Hammill, Stephen Gleeson, Darragh Lenihan, Alan Judge, Callum O’Dowda, Sean Scannell, Eunan O’Kane, Daryl Horgan, Alan Browne, Ryan Manning, Liam Kelly, Anthony Forde, Connor Ronan, Jonny Hayes
Scott Hogan, Lukas Jutkiewicz, Anthony Stokes, David McGoldrick, Joe Mason, Adam Rooney
Sam, I'd hazard a guess that's the first time anyone has used the term "without further ado" in a post here.
I can picture Danny thinking 'that's a line I could use to some good effect'.
The game v Wales could be a qualification defining game in our favour
And we are not alone, our traditional allies Georgia could do us yet another good turn.
The show horned game v Iceland will likely be a very low key event against a 2nd string team.
Terrible game. Dunne nearly gifted them an equaliser giving the ball away needlessly but they missed a one on one. Was Hennessy in goals for us that day?
Edit: just saw it above. It was Shay and it was at 0-0.
George jinxed this one against Wales, nailed it on cue.
I know I sound like a broken record here but I think Madden has the instincts and the positional sense to become an option at this level.
He really impressed me against Wales.
Team v Iceland
Westwood; Doherty, Egan, Hoban, Cunningham; McGeady, Arter, Meyler, Horgan; Murphy, Madden
McGoldrick, Hayes, Hourihane, Manning, Browne, Williams as options off the bench.
Last edited by TheOneWhoKnocks; 20/02/2017 at 2:46 PM.