Which strikers will Ireland take to Euro 2016?

The Republic of Ireland are preparing for their next adventure to a major international tournament, and there is plenty of speculation around which strikers will be taken to Euro 2016.

This year the European Championships will be held in France where the predictions are favouring Germany to win the tournament with 3/1 odds, while Ireland are well down the pecking order at 150/1.

The draw hasn’t been kind to Martin O’Neill’s side who have been placed in a tough Group E along with Sweden, Belgium and Italy.

Ireland Bosnia Martin O'Neill touchline

At Euro 2012, Ireland struggled to find the net and scored just once in three games when Sean St. Ledger, a defender, found the net in the 3-1 defeat to Croatia.

This time round, Robbie Keane is four years older and at nearly 36 will only be a bit part player so it is likely that Shane Long will lead the line, with Jonathan Walters providing support.

In a 23-man squad, coaches tend to favour taking four or five strikers so we have taken a look at some of the options available to O’Neill.

Shane Long

This should be Shane Long’s tournament. At 29, he is at his peak as a player and has become a real fan favourite, thanks in part to that stunning winner against Germany in the qualifiers.

The Southampton man averages just over a goal every three games in the Premier League so far this season (22 games, 7 goals) which isn’t a bad record when you consider that his game time has been limited under Ronald Koeman.

Ireland Bosnia Shane Long

Robbie Keane

With 67 goals in 143 internationals to date, Keane’s place in Irish history is firmly etched but the Tallaght native would no doubt love to find the net is what is likely to be his last big international tournament.

Keane is still playing week in, week out for the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer and he was voted into the league’s Best XI last season. He is currently sidelined with a knee injury that could keep him out for six weeks.

Jonathan Walters

The playoff hero with two goals against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Dublin, Walters is probably one of the first names on the team sheet for Martin O’Neill.

His performances in a green shirt have been immense in recent seasons and the Stoke City man will be keen to make up for a disappointing campaign four years ago at Euro 2012.

Daryl Murphy

Ipswich Town man Daryl Murphy continues to score goals in the Championship and was used as a starter by Martin O’Neill during the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

At 33, this would may be his international swansong and he is no doubt keen to break a drought that his seen him fail to score in 16 appearances for Ireland so far.

Ireland team photo Bosnia

Kevin Doyle

Another striker on the wrong side of 30, Kevin Doyle has joined Robbie Keane in MLS and has fit in nicely at the Colorado Rapids.

Doyle got a start in the recent friendly against Switzerland in Dublin but in the first half he was forced off with a nasty gash on his leg that later required plastic surgery.

Andy Keogh

With goals in eight consecutive games, a new A-League regular, Andy Keogh’s form for Perth Glory has led to a number of stories linking him with a return to the international fold.

The 29-year-old has 30 caps to his name and is no stranger to the big occasion but remains an outsider unless some of the aforementioned injuries to O’Neill’s preferred options fail to clear up.

The likes of Simon Cox, Anthony Stokes, David McGoldrick and Adam Rooney could all come into consideration for a spot in the final squad, let us know in the comments who you would take to France.

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