Decision day has arrived for Martin O’Neill, who will have approximately one hour and twenty minutes from the final whistle at Turner’s Cross to submit a squad of 23 players to represent Ireland at Euro 2016.

Of course, there is a game of football to be decided first as Ireland play their final warm-up game with the visit of Belarus to Turner’s Cross in Cork tonight, kick-off 7:45pm.

And while there might not be too much value playing against a side of such stature going into games against very strong opposition, the thinking is that a morale-boosting victory would send the side off in style ahead of next week’s departure.

Northern Ireland rolled Belarus on Friday, winning 3-0 at Windsor Park. And while a similar result should follow tonight, don’t be surprised if the floodgates fail to open as this side only lost 1-0 at home to Spain in the qualifiers and they managed to beat Slovakia in the same group.

So can someone really break into the squad on the back of a strong performance against a relatively weak European team, just hours before the deadline?

Friday’s game against the Dutch was really the time to impress, while tonight’s game could turn out to be a fitness and sharpness assessment for squad players with slight question marks hanging over their heads.

Daryl Murphy in action against Bosnia-Herzegovina

Players like Daryl Murphy, Aiden McGeady, Shay Given and David Meyler could really do with a full fixture. And while performance will not be the deciding factor – although a couple of goals would do Murphy’s confidence no harm – the manager will be keen to see how they look from a physical aspect.

None of these players have enjoyed a good run of games in recent months and the manager will need to see first hand what their movement, speed and stamina are like before rubber-stamping their place in the squad.

Murphy, Given and McGeady are surely on the plane, fitness pending, however, Meyler has only just hooked up with the squad due to play-off commitments with Hull City.

Harry Arter’s performance on Friday night might have nudged him ahead of Meyler and Stephen Quinn in the manager’s mind, but the thigh injury that the Bournemouth midfielder picked up on Monday will remind O’Neill that he is another lacking match fitness.

Kevin Doyle’s late omission shows that the manager is clear in his thoughts and is not playing around with players this week – it would have been a long and ultimately wasted journey for the Colorado Rapids striker to jet in from the States.

The manager, however, still needs to sit down and pen those 23 names, and O’Neill has a very important decision to make about his goalkeeping trio for France.

Back in March, the Derry man appeared happy to rely on loyalty, going with Darren Randolph, Shay Given and David Forde and leaving Keiren Westwood out of the final squad for the games against Switzerland and Slovakia.

Yet since those games, O’Neill’s keepers of choice have played very little football, while Westwood almost single-handedly guided Sheffield Wednesday to the Championship play-off final.

Keiren Westwood has been in top form for Wednesday

Another excellent performance on Saturday must have caught O’Neill’s eye and the former Sunderland man was only beaten by a world-class strike, with Westwood still managing to get fingertips to a top-corner bound effort.

So perhaps a late change of heart for the manager by naming Westwood, which would certainly strengthen the goalkeeping department.

And if O’Neill does make a late shuffle with his keepers, will it be Forde or Given that loses out?

Given has been training with the squad all week and the manager will surely take the former Newcastle keeper if he looks fit.

"At this stage, Eunan O’Kane and Darron Gibson will most likely need an injury withdrawal to be afforded a call-up, but the question of David McGoldrick still exists"

Forde, on the other hand, only arrived after Millwall’s play-off defeat on Sunday and the former Derry City man has spent the second half of the season on the bench and can have no real complaints if he is left behind.

John O’Shea, Richard Keogh, Ciaran Clark and Shane Duffy will be the four travelling centre halves, while Seamus Coleman and Cyrus Christie will be selected as the right backs in the squad, with Robbie Brady and Stephen Ward on the left.

In midfield; James McCarthy, Glenn Whelan, Jeff Hendrick, James McClean and Wes Hoolahan are guaranteed a place. And Aiden McGeady is surely to benefit from the loyalty card, although, like Forde and several others in the squad, would have no grounds for complaint if excluded due to poor club form.

Up front, and on the basis that everyone is fit and available, Shane Long, Jonathan Walters and Robbie Keane are certainties, while a fit Murphy is now sure to go, especially after Doyle’s exclusion.

So that is 20 players virtually guaranteed a place on the plane but where will the other three come from?

Friday’s 1-1 draw with the Netherlands proved a good night for another loyal O’Neill servant and, as a result, Quinn should have done enough to cement his place in the squad, while Arter’s man-of-the-match performance should see him squeeze out Meyler.

At this stage, Eunan O’Kane and Darron Gibson will most likely need an injury withdrawal to be afforded a call-up, but the question of David McGoldrick still exists.

O’Neill wants players like the Ipswich man in his side because, aside from set-pieces, the manager places a big belief in magical moments deciding games.

That is why McGeady will travel and Hoolahan is another that the manager can imagine creating something out of nothing to perhaps win a game.

Wes Hoolohan can expect to travel

But even highlighting the positives from McGoldrick’s play on Friday, it is surely too late for the ball-playing front man to dislodge any of the other midfielders or forwards.

There is another scenario, however. And as unlikely as it is to happen, the manager has no doubt considered every permutation available.

Perhaps O’Neill has thought about leaving one of the reserve full-backs out of the 23 to make room for some midfield strength or creativity going forward?

It would prove very harsh on either Ward or Christie to be sacrificed at this stage, but there are players who could potentially provide cover, if only three full-backs were selected.

Of course, if Christie was left out, Meyler would then have to make the 23 to play understudy to Coleman at full-back as he did in Germany, while if Ward was omitted, McClean could potentially be moulded into that Brady role on the left.

And while all of that comes very much into the speculation category, the very big reality that the manager has to deal with is the potential of a late injury or two influencing and determining his selection.

McCarthy’s fitness has been well documented this week and there is a strong possibility that the Everton midfielder will play no part in tonight’s game.

Clark is not fully fit either but both players would be expected to be 100 per cent on 13 June when Ireland open their campaign against Sweden at Stade de France.

On the other hand, Keane and Arter’s injuries, and any potential knocks from tonight’s game, give the manager a much bigger dilemma to ponder with the 11pm deadline looming.

Arter’s scan should prove decisive one way or another and the manager will probably leave that to the medical team to call, while Keane’s scenario is a bit more of a sensitive issue, being Ireland’s record goalscorer and team captain.

If O’Neill feels that his skipper is going to struggle to contribute in France he just might make that big, bold and, no doubt, unpopular decision to leave Keane at home.

The Ireland record-breaking talisman would not have envisaged the curtain to come down on his international career in a poky Turner’s Cross dressing room, but as many an ageing footballer will confirm, the mind might be willing, but the body can be weak.

Predicted Ireland squad:

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Shay Given, Keiren Westwood.

Defenders:John O’Shea, Richard Keogh, Ciaran Clark, Shane Duffy, Seamus Coleman, Cyrus Christie, Robbie Brady, Stephen Ward.

Midfield: James McCarthy, Glenn Whelan, Jeff Hendrick, James McClean, Wes Hoolahan,AidenMcGeady, Stephen Quinn, Harry Arter.

Forwards: Shane Long, Jonathan Walters, Robbie Keane, Daryl Murphy.