Italy v Ireland: O’Neill gambles with bold selection
John O’Shea, Ciaran Clark, Glenn Whelan and Wes Hoolahan dropped for tie in Lille
Ireland’s John O’Shea was replaced in the starting line-up for tonight’s game against Italy. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Manager Martin O’Neill went for broke as he attempted to extend the Republic of Ireland’s stay at Euro 2016 with a shock victory over Italy. O’Neill changed both central defenders, replacing John O’Shea and Ciaran Clark with Shane Duffy and Richard Keogh.
Italy boss Antonio Conte, who said he would make between seven and nine changes on the eve of the game, was as good as his word as he retained the services of only Leonardo Bonucci, Alessandro Florenzi and Andrea Barzagli with top spot in Group E already safe.
Italy: Sirigu, Barzagli, Bonucci, Ogbonna, Bernardeschi, Sturaro, Thiago Motta, Florenzi, De Sciglio, Zaza, Immobile. Subs: Buffon, Chiellini, Darmian, Candreva, Pelle, De Rossi, Eder, Parolo, Insigne, El Shaarawy, Giaccherini, Marchetti. Rep of
Ireland: Randolph, Coleman, Duffy, Keogh, Ward, Hendrick, McClean, McCarthy, Brady, Long, Murphy. Subs: Westwood, Clark, O’Shea, Whelan, McGeady, Keane, Walters, Christie, Meyler, Hoolahan, Quinn, Given.
Referee: Ovidiu Alin Hategan (Romania)