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Anthony Stokes selected in Republic of Ireland provisional squad

Celtic’s Anthony Stokes has been selected in the provisional 35-man Republic of Ireland squad for their European Championship qualifiers against Poland.

Former Celtic players Aiden McGeady, Daryl Murphy and Robbie Keane are also in the squad for the showdown with Poland, which is a pivotal game for the Republic of Ireland as they currently sit level on points with Germany and Scotland in Group D.

Martin O’Neill’s team are three points behind the group leaders going into the game and risk being overtaken by the Germans and Scots if they don’t produce a result.

Stokes has been far from impressive for Celtic of late and many Hoops fans will be surprised by his inclusion in the provisional squad, which is set to be cut down before the game on 29th March.

Stokes will be competing with Keane, Murphy, Simon Cox, Kevin Doyle, Jon Walters, Shane Long and David McGoldrick for a spot in the team and will be one of the favourites to miss out unless he puts an end to his current poor domestic form.

Stokes has eight international caps for his country but the 26-year-old hasn’t managed to find the back of the net in any of those games. His last appearance came in the 4-1 friendly win against the USA where he was replaced after 60 minutes by Everton’s McGeady.

Republic of Ireland provisional squad:

David Forde (Millwall FC), Shay Given (Aston Villa FC), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday FC), Darren Randolph (Birmingham City FC), Rob Elliot (Newcastle United FC), Richard Keogh (Derby County FC), Marc Wilson (Stoke City FC), Seamus Coleman (Everton FC), Cyrus Christie (Derby County FC), John O’Shea (Sunderland AFC), Alex Pearce (Reading FC), Paul McShane (Hull City FC), James McCarthy (Everton FC), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County FC), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa FC), Stephen Ward (Burnley FC), Harry Arter (AFC Bournemouth), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City FC), Darron Gibson (Everton FC), Paul Green (Rotherham United FC), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), Aiden McGeady (Everton FC), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City FC), James McClean (Wigan Athletic FC), Robbie Brady (Hull City FC), Stephen Quinn (Hull City FC), David Meyler (Hull City FC), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton FC), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town FC), Jon Walters (Stoke City FC), Kevin Doyle (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Anthony Stokes (Celtic FC), Simon Cox (Reading FC), David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town FC)

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