Home » The Ireland XI John O’Shea Should Pick Vs Switzerland To Unlock Team’s Attacking Potential | Balls.ie

The Ireland XI John O’Shea Should Pick Vs Switzerland To Unlock Team’s Attacking Potential | Balls.ie

The Ireland XI John O’Shea Should Pick Vs Switzerland To Unlock Team’s Attacking Potential | Balls.ie

After a decent performance against Belgium last night, John O’Shea will be keen for his Ireland side to build further momentum when they take on Switzerland on Tuesday night.

Ireland were very solid at the back against the Belgians, although it’s fair to say that they lacked a little bit of bite in attack. That is something they should look to address in the next game, something that could be helped by a switch in both formation and playing personnel.

With that in mind, here is the team we would go with against the Swiss.

READ HERE: Ireland Player Ratings As O’Shea’s Men Fail To Ignite In Belgium Stalemate

The Ireland team we want against Switzerland

Formation: 4-2-3-1

The 3-4-3 system used against Belgium worked very well from a defensive point of view, although it did leave Ireland a little bit short in attack. There was not enough creativity in central areas, with the gap between the midfield and front line often quite big.

A change to 4-2-3-1 should address that issue, while it would also suit the players currently at the manager’s disposal.


GK: Gavin Bazunu

Caoimhín Kelleher was fully deserving of the chance to play last night, with the Liverpool man performing brilliantly against Belgium. However, it is only fair that Bazunu is also given the chance to play during an international window that features two friendlies.

In saying that, there is a real conversation that needs to be had about Ireland’s no. 1 going forward, with Kelleher’s credentials getting stronger by the week.

RB: Festy Ebosele

Festy Ebosele was given only a brief cameo off the bench against Belgium, but considering that Seamus Coleman is unlikely to play a second game in three days, we would love to see him start on Tuesday.

The Udinese man is a brilliant attacking fullback and he would be very comfortable in the 3-4-3 system used by John O’Shea during his first game in charge. This formation would be a bit more challenging for him from a defensive perspective, but it is worth testing out.

CB: Jake O’Brien

Jake O’Brien deserves a chance to impress for Ireland on the back of his form for Lyon this season. He was the only centre back in the squad not to feature against Belgium and should get an opportunity on Tuesday.

He is a very imposing physical presence and should slot seamlessly into the team.

CB: Nathan Collins

Collins was tasked with being the organiser at the back for Ireland last night, meaning John O’Shea clearly sees him as the lead centre back in the group at the moment.

Putting him into the side alongside a debutant in O’Brien would make a lot of sense.

LB: Ryan Manning

Ryan Manning was a late addition to the squad after recovering from injury, meaning he was always unlikely to feature against Belgium. Robbie Brady did brilliantly in that game, but like Coleman, he is unlikely to play a second game in the space of three days.


Matt Doherty and Manning are the other options for the role, although we would give the Southampton man the nod considering his superior form this season.


CM: Jason Knight

Jason Knight got 20 minutes off the bench in a wide right role against Belgium, although we generally prefer to see him playing in a more central position.

A holding role may not be his natural position, but he has the game awareness and stamina to thrive in that role. He can also get forward on occasion from that deeper starting point.

CM: Josh Cullen

Josh Cullen put in a very solid display against Belgium, especially out of possession. He patrolled the middle third brilliantly and offered very little space for the opposition to attack. He was also decent on the ball, most notably in the second half.

The Burnley struggled at international level in the latter half of 2023, so it was great to see him back to his best this weekend.

RW: Chiedozie Ogbene

Chiedozie Ogbene was not at his very best last night, although he still produced some impressive dribbles at times.

He has been in brilliant form for Luton this season and we get the sense that this particular formation might suit him a bit better than the 3-4-3 used against Belgium.

CF: Sammie Szmodics

Sammie Szmodics was very impressive during his international debut, putting in a good performance despite playing out of position.

He has thrived in a central role at Blackburn Rovers this season, and while he is capable of playing out wide, it is not the best use of his talents. Ireland have struggled to create scoring opportunities from central areas for quite some time now, an issue the 28-year old has the potential to solve.

He should be given the chance to show what he can do in his best position, something this formation allows for.

LW: Mikey Johnston

Mikey Johnston has been one of Ireland’s form players in recent weeks, so it was somewhat strange to see him left on the bench against Belgium. The 3-4-3 system simply did not have room for him, with only three attacking players accommodated in that formation.

A switch to 4-2-3-1 allows O’Shea to get all of Johnston, Szmodics, and Ogbene into the team, something that should be an exciting prospect for Ireland fans.

ST: Evan Ferguson

Evan Ferguson worked very hard against Belgium, but things just wouldn’t come off for him. The penalty miss summed up his night, with the teenager losing his footing just as he made contact with the ball.

While he is currently in the midst of a long goalless run, you would have no concerns about his long-term prospects at international level. It would be fantastic to see him get a goal on Tuesday.

The Team In Full

ireland team we want switzerland

This team would represent six changes to the side that drew with Belgium, as well as a switch in formation.

It is unlikely that John O’Shea will make quite that many changes, although you can expect the fullback and goalkeeping positions to be looked at in the very least.

SEE ALSO: Latest Ireland Debutant Has Potential To Solve Long-Standing Issue In The Team