Euro 2016: Ireland
Stoke City will have three men wearing an Irish shirt this summer…and it was almost four.
Marc Wilson has sadly failed to recover from a knee injury, but Shay Given, Glenn Whelan and Jonathan Walters are all on Martin O’Neill’s plane to France.
Ireland slumped out of the last European Championships, but having been drawn in a tough group it came as no surprise. Expectations are slightly higher this time around, with Walters the figurehead for the country having scored the goals against Bosnia to seal their place in the tournament.
Victory over Germany during qualification showed the Irish are no mugs, but the balls were unkind once more when the draw was made last December- Italy, Belgium and Sweden make up their Group E opponents. As always, the Irish will be heavily represented in the stands and the Green Army could play a huge role as the team strive for success.
Whelan is on the verge of becoming Ireland’s most capped midfielder, whilst Given’s return from injury has been timely- their experience will be vital, as will Walters’ goals and work ethic.
In truth, it’s hard to see beyond an exit at the group stage, but with a sprinkling of that famous Irish luck, who knows what could happen?
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