Republic of Ireland v Serbia Preview

Get specially reduced student tickets for the Ireland vs Serbia game for just €15. For more information check out the FAI Student Match Day on Facebook

The Aviva Stadium takes a quick break from the Six Nations next Wednesday as Ireland host Serbia in what will definitely be a tough test for Martin O'Neill in his third game in charge. O'Neill has picked a squad that makes the most sense at this current time given that captain Robbie Keane is currently readying himself for the start of LA Galaxy's MLS season and that recent talks with both Stephen Ireland about returning to the international fold may just have come too close to this fixture.

Anyway enough about those excluded at the moment as those names will add experience should they become involved again down the road. It would be foolish not to highlight the current form of those young players currently within the Irish squad upon which the future rely's on. With Shane Long settling into his new surroundings at Hull alongside other Irish colleagues including the likes of David Meyler and the ever improving Robbie Brady, it seems to be an exciting time for young Irish internationals. Meyler himself has been putting in convincing performances since he given his chance under Steve Bruce, none more so than against Liverpool in a 3-1 win at the KC Stadium in December where he scored his first Premier League goal. We will hopefully see him given a chance in O'Neills Irish set up.

 Myler is in flying form with Hull City this season

Most important in all going forward though would seem to be the form of Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy under Roberto Martinez at Everton. The attacking football implied by Everton would be a welcome sight for Irish fans to see at the Aviva Stadium, we can all dream after all. Much like the already mentioned Liverpool's recent devastating attacking performances in the Premier League has many UK journalists calling for their English cohort of Sturridge, Henderson and Sturridge to form the basis of a pretty dull English attack for this summers World Cup, much could be argued that O'Neill should do likewise with the Everton Internationals he has at his disposal, which now also includes Aiden McGeady after his arrival in the January transfer window. Trapattoni's midfield was a dire site in it's final days, not that it was ever attractive, it got the job done at times but more will be needed in that area of the pitch if we are to even consider challenging Germany, Poland and even Scotland for a qualifying place at the finals of the 2016 European Championships.

Coleman has 6 goals in all competition from right back with Everton so far this season

Friendlys like this with Serbia form the first hurdle for O'Neill to gauge the talent available to him. It will be a big test for us to see where we are at after three games under the man from Kilrea, as Serbia are certainly no pushovers. In an attacking sense the boys in green will be up against it with a Serbia squad that includes stubborn defensive minded players like Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic as well as Manchester City's Alexander Kolorov and his extremely dangerous left foot from set pieces. Add to this Roma's Adem Ljajić who has been in a rich vein of form this season as well as Zoran Tošić, a name many Manchester United fans will be familiar with who is now plying his trade at CSKA Moscow and it makes for an interesting evening in Dublin 4. O'Neill is well known for his motivational ways and eagerness to put a hand around players when they need it, as well as being able to get the best out of his squad. This coupled with Roy Keane's fiery-ness will hopefully lead to us seeing a much more eager and confident Irish team come kick off time for the qualifiers. For now though we are very much witnessing the formation of a new Republic of Ireland. I haven't been this excited since seconds before Thierry Henry ruined everything...


Get €15 Tickets for Wednesday's the game from the FAI Student Match Day on Facebook. Also available in selected college campuses across the country. Tickets are available in 83 Harcourt Street, Royal College of Surgeons in IrelandInstitute of Technology Blanchardstown, Institute of Technology Tallaght, and will be on campuses near you soon! 

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Colin O'Dwyer
Article written by
Media graduate, music nut, musician and connoisseur of the skinny jean. Would've made a better Batman than Affleck!!

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