The Irish players who need to grab the chance to shine in the International friendlies

Ger McCarthy look at the players who have a chance to impress in the upcoming matches.
The Irish players who need to grab the chance to shine in the International friendlies

Rob Elliot

Darren Randoph’s form for club and country suggests Newcastle United’s Rob Elliot needs to make an impression against Switzerland or Slovakia in the coming days.

Elliot’s consistent displays during the Magpies’ relegation battle gives the 29-year-old a fighting chance of claiming the number one jersey and a positive showing in either friendly would certainly aid his cause.

Eunan O’Kane

Bournemouth teammate Harry Arter’s untimely Achilles injury offers O’Kane an opportunity to demonstrate his abilities before Martin O’Neill finalises his squad.

Uncapped at senior international level, O’Kane faces stiff competition from David Meyler, Aiden McGeady, Anthony Pilkington and Stephen Quinn but the Derryman possesses the requisite confidence and qualities to force his way into O’Neill’s thoughts.

Aiden McGeady

McGeady’s transfer from Everton to Sheffield Wednesday has delivered some much-needed first team football and proved a timely move with Jonny Hayes and Alan Judge’s emergence onto the international scene.

The former Celtic winger is no longer guaranteed a place in the Irish starting line-up and must grasp his opportunity in the upcoming friendlies considering his previous international appearance was a brief four-minute substitute cameo away to Bosnia and Herzegovina last November.

Alan Judge

A tactical switch from his previous defensive midfield role to playing off the front striker has benefited Brentford and Alan Judge. Judge’s 14 goals and consistent displays have helped the Bees steer clear of the Championship relegation zone leading to rumoured interest from Leicester and Swansea.

The 27-year-old is expected to make his senior international debut in the coming days and Martin O’Neill will be eager to see if Judge can slot into the creative attacking role otherwise occupied by Wes Hoolahan.

Rob Elliot

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