Date: 16th November 2015 at 4:38pm
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Later this evening we will know whether The Republic of Ireland have qualified for Euro 2016 in France and with a renewed strike force, they will be in far less of a defensive mode tonight.

Shane Long is back in training and will undoubtedly play some part but having been out since the defeat to Poland, it is unlikely he will be in the team and this could mean another start for Ipswich forward Daryl Murphy, who will be more eager than ever to break his international duck against Bosnia Herzegovina in Dublin.

More good news for the Irish sees former Ipswich Town man Jonathan Walters come back into the frame and the most likely pairing is a Walters/Murphy one, as Robbie Keane will probably find himself on the bench until perhaps the closing stages of this encounter.

He has been the Irish hero many times before of course but his is thirty five years of age and will not be expected to last the full course but could be of value as an impact player if the Irish are struggling to score tonight?

Daryl Murphy has been capped eighteen times for the Irish and must see this game as a great opportunity to get onto the score sheet at long last. He is understandably desperate to get a goal for his country and unlike on Friday, the Irish will be looking to attack and if he plays he will get some service and chances!

His hat-trick for Ipswich Town could not have come at a better time but there is a slight worry because he did not train today as a precautionary measure as he has a slight calf strain.

Whether this will influence Martin O’Neill’s thinking is anybody’s guess but I am sure Mick McCarthy will be also monitoring the situation intensely – knowing that any further damage to his calf could seriously hinder his chances of playing for the Tractor Boys at the Weekend, at home to Wolves.

That said, if he is fit enough to start then I hope that is exactly what he does!

It would be great to see the Irish pull through tonight and even greater if it is thanks to Daryl Murphy with his first goal for the country of birth!

We waited a long time for him to score for Ipswich this season and the Irish have been waiting even longer so let’s hope he manages to find the net this evening in a game that really matters.

Frank Weston Editor of Vital Ipswich


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