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Europa League Group Stage Preview: Ireland Style

16 September 2010 2,885 views No Comment Written by Ronan

The Group Stage of the 2010-2011 UEFA Europa League gets under way tonight, and you’ll find plenty of previews and predictions in print and online. This is a little different, as we’ll look at the Irish players in each Europa League squad (like the Champions League, there’s not too many, unfortunately) and assess their chances of getting game time. If one of the Irish players is lucky enough to make it all the way to the final (perhaps Man City’s Shay Given is the most likely), they’ll get to line out at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

GROUP A
Juventus
Manchester City
Red Bull Salzburg
Lech Poznan

Giovanni Trapattoni may well have his eye on Group A, having managed Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg before taking over as Republic of Ireland boss. He’ll also be looking to see if Manchester City’s Shay Given gets the appearances he was promised by Roberto Mancini. According to reports, Mancini told Given that current England number 1 Joe Hart would not get to start every game, and thus Given would have a chance to win back his position. He should be starting tonight against Salzburg, and hopefully he can put in a solid performance to re-stake his claim.

GROUP K
Liverpool
Steaua Bucharest
Napoli
Utrecht

This is a contentious one, but FC Utrecht’s Dutch under-19 international defender Barry Maguire has said that he would reconsider playing for Ireland, after rejecting a call-up to the Irish under-21s last year. He has played for Ireland at under-16 level, but his family were upset with the way Maguire was treated, and he then turned his back on ever playing for Ireland. However, last week, he claimed that if the FAI or the Irish management team contacted him, he may well change his mind. For now, nothing is certain.

GROUP L
Porto
Besiktas
CSKA Sofia
Rapid Vienna

Former Celtic and St. Johnstone striker Cillian Sheridan signed for Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia in August and has been a mainstay in the starting lineup since his move abroad. He’s already played for the club in Europe, making his debut against Richie Partridge’s new club, The New Saints. He is expected to start in CSKA’s Europa League games, and should take to the field against Besiktas tonight.

Related posts:

  1. Champions League Group Stage Preview: Ireland style
  2. FIFA 11 Irish Premier League Player Ratings
  3. List: Irish Players in League One
  4. List of Irish Players in the Football League Championship

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