Cox to start for Republic of Ireland against Spain - report

The West Brom forward could be preferred to Kevin Doyle as Giovanni Trapattoni contemplates switching to a five-man midfield to counter the reigning world and European champions
Simon Cox is set to start for the Republic of Ireland against Spain in Euro 2012's Group C clash on Thursday evening, according to reports.

The West Brom forward is likely to feature in a wide role in place of Kevin Doyle as Giovanni Trapattoni contemplates a switch to a five-man midfield, the Daily Mail claims.

He's back for day seven to predict the results ahead of Croatia vs Italy and Spain vs Ireland
Ireland were soundly beaten 3-1 by Croatia in their opening Euro 2012 fixture, and that has reportedly prompted the Italian coach to re-assess his usual 4-4-2 formation.

Spain are likely to pack the midfield and even opted to select Cesc Fabregas ahead of a recognised striker in their opening game against Italy.

It is claimed that Doyle, and not captain Robbie Keane, will be sacrificed to make way for Cox. Aiden McGeady has been adjusting to a more central role during training, with former Swindon star Cox expected to interchange with Keane in a position between the midfield and attack.

Strikers Shane Long and Jonathan Walters, as well as exciting winger James McClean, were also available to Trapattoni but Cox featured as a substitute against Croatia and has been tipped to once again get the nod.

Keane, meanwhile, was reportedly forced to plead with Trapattoni for a place in the team as he endures his worst goal-scoring run for the national team in 11 years.