Martin O'Neill will name his squad on Monday for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Wales on 24 March and the friendly international against Iceland four days later.
The Ireland manager will hardly stray too far from the script when it comes to naming his match-day squad for that vital clash with Chris Coleman's Wales, however, with a friendly game also taking place in this international get-together, O'Neill is surely set to cast his eye over several potential players who currently rest on the fringes of the squad.
So here's a look at ten players who might just get that phone call over the weekend:
Conor Hourihane – Aston Villa
The Cork midfielder has been performing consistently at club level for the past three or four seasons, but has yet to make his way into the Ireland squad. Granted Hourihane was playing in League 1 at the time, however, the 26-year-old looked immediately comfortable at Championship level.
A move to Aston Villa followed in the January window as the Barnsley captain was tempted to the Birmingham club and a revival in Villa's fortunes in recent weeks will certainly add to his current appreciation when it comes to an international call-up.
Hourihane’s many attributes include being excellent on the ball, composed, excellent passer and the Bandon native possesses a devastating free-kick, which will certainly help his cause.
But perhaps Hourihane’s strongest feature is his leadership qualities, wearing the armband with authority and leading by example. Another leader in the Ireland dressing room will certainly enhance O’Neill’s squad in the push for World Cup qualification.
Chances of inclusion: The midfielder has been on the radar for quite a while and this is surely the time to give him a good week within the senior squad and a run out against Iceland.
Chris Forrester – Peterborough
Chris Forrester made his Ireland Under-21 debut while playing with St Patrick’s Athletic back in 2013. At the time, the jinking midfielder was the most exciting player in the League of Ireland, roaming freely, terrorising defences across the country, while prone to the odd spectacular strike or three.
Four years on, the 24-year-old is a completely different player, now plying his trade in the English League 1 with Peterborough. The Dubliner still possesses all the flair that led to his move across the channel, however, Forrester has developed into the complete midfielder, now influencing proceedings from a more defined role in the middle of the park.
Forrester has certainly been on Martin O’Neill’s radar over the past 12 months and was even named in a provisional squad last March, and enjoyed another chance to impress in a recent Cup clash with Chelsea, where the former Bohemians midfielder showed moments of class in esteemed company.
Composed on the ball with a near-flawless passing game, an international future is likely to present itself at some point in Forrester’s future.
Chances of inclusion: An outside chance at this stage as Martin O'Neill rarely dips lower into the pool than the Championship. Rumours of a future move to either of the top two tiers could materialise in the summer, which would certainly enhance his chances.
Daryl Horgan - Preston North End
The man of the moment has had little or no time to rest over the past 12 months, yet Daryl Horgan has made an immediate impact at his new club Preston North End.
Horgan’s 2016 began with pre-season last January and the Galway man has been flat-out ever since, enjoying a record-breaking season with Dundalk, who reached the group stages of the Europa League, combined with their third title in a row.
Horgan was deservedly named player of the year and his consistent, quality-filled performances led to that move across the water to Deepdale.
And Horgan was thrown into first team action at his new club just days after becoming eligible to play at the start of the month, showing moments of real quality on the left flank against a star-studded Arsenal side. The Galway native has been a regular in the matchday squad since, contributing with goals and assists to strike an instant chord with the North End fans.
The 24-year-old’s game is all about flair, pace and ability to score, and these qualities brought Horgan to the attention of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill at the end of 2016.
Horgan was rewarded with a call-up to the senior squad for the Austria game and made the bench for the excellent victory in Vienna.
Chances of inclusion: Surely nailed on to again hook up with the Ireland squad for the upcoming games. Aiden McGeady's recent excellent club form will keep Horgan a little bit down the pecking order but expect him to start against Iceland.
Ryan Manning – QPR
What a couple of months it has been for the 20-year-old former Galway United midfielder.
Languishing in the reserves since his 2015 move to Loftus Road, Manning was sprung into the first team by new manager Ian Holloway and has been an ever-present in the QPR first team in a league run that saw the west London side move away from the relegation zone with three wins and one draw.
Manning’s role in the middle of the park has showcased the very best of what the midfielder can offer, playing neat and tidy football showing remarkable composure on the ball with a great range of passing available.
The former Ireland Under-19 international is also blessed with an excellent engine, which allows him to burst forward to join in with the attack, as has already been displayed in his fledgling first-team career. Goals and assists have added to his impressive performances, while Manning is also excellent with the dead ball.
Chances of inclusion: Martin O'Neill will certainly be curious to see whether Manning is ready for senior selection and should the manager opt for a 30-player squad or more then the QPR man must have a real chance.
Greg Cunningham – Preston North End
The former Manchester City youngster was tipped to be Ireland’s first-choice left back for the foreseeable future when he made his full international debut back in 2010 as an 18-year-old.
However, Cunningham would only win four senior caps as the Galway man’s club career failed to ignite, leaving Manchester City to sign for Bristol City, following loan spells at Leicester and Nottingham Forest.
Relegation followed at Bristol City and Cunningham moved back to the Championship in 2015 to join Preston North End.
And the 25-year-old now looks to have got his career back on track, playing regularly at Deepdale in his preferred left back position.
There is a real Irish atmosphere at the club under manager Simon Grayson, whose brand of all-out attacking football brings the best out of Cunningham, who offers an attacking threat up the left flank.
Cunningham’s team-mate Alan Browne is another of the six-strong Irish contingent at Deepdale and the 21-year-old midfielder is making a real name for himself in the Championship.
Chances of inclusion: Ireland are certainly lacking strong support in the full-back department and Cunningham's inclusion would certainly strengthen the squad.
Richie Towell - Brighton
Such was the hype over Richie Towell throughout 2015, that when the midfielder finally negotiated a move across the water to Brighton, Ireland manager Martin O'Neill felt compelled to clarify his thoughts on the former Dundalk man's chances of an international call-up.
O'Neill spoke to the player ahead of the move and told him that he should not expect a look-in until he had established himself in the first team of his new club.
Towell's progress at Brighton has been stalled by injury and also the fact that Brighton have now established themselves as genuine Premier Leauge hopefuls. Chris Hughton's side narrowly missed out last season, while this year they are faring even better and currently sit second in the table in the automatic promotion places.
The former Celtic youth player eventually got a look-in to first team action since the turn of the New Year thanks to the FA Cup and while impressing, Towell still could not make it into the matchday squad in the league.
Until last week, of course, as Towell came off the bench in Brighton's most recent league win.
The player now needs to kick on and establish himself in that matchday 18 before attemtpin to break into the starting XI and then perhaps O'Neill will be true to his word.
Chances of inclusion: A near certainty that Towell will not be included this time around, however, if he can get a few appearances under his belt before the end of the season, he could find himself on the plane to the USA as Ireland play a friendly in New Jersey in early June.
Matt Doherty – Wolves
Another player who has certainly been on the international radar for some time, Matt Doherty can offer Ireland defensive options, playing primarily as a right back, while also covering the left back and, at times, centre-half, positions.
The 25-year-old was capped at Under-21 level but has yet to make a senior appearance for Ireland, despite being named in squad for last year’s friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia.
Doherty has established himself as an ever-present in the Wolves first team and has the most appearances at the club this season, while scoring four goals from defence.
Experience and consistency at this level should earn some sort of future international recognition, with the added ability to crash home a set-piece or two, but it may need to be at left back with the captain Seamus Coleman’s right-back position set in stone.
Chances of inclusion: While Seamus Coleman has the right back slot sewn up, the left back berth is also well-stocked at the moment with both Stephen Ward and Robbie Brady being used in that position. Cyrus Christie is currently back in the Derby County, which can push Doherty further down the order, and it certainly won't help matters that Wolves are currently in free-fall and are in the relegation mix as the season draws to a close.
John Egan – Brentford
The Brentford centre-half has not had any involvement with the Ireland senior squad, however, that could all change in the not-so-distant future as the 24-year-old Corkonian is maturing into a very capable defender, looking very comfortable in England’s second tier.
Egan really made his name at Gilliangham over the past two years and looked totally at ease at that level, looking like a very composed defender at such a young age for the position, while also establishing himself as a real threat from set-pieces - Egan scored ten times in 81 appearance, which is a great strike rate for a defender.
The son of former Kerry GAA legend John Egan got a taste of top class opposition in January as Brentford were brushed aside by Chelsea with Egan picking up an injury that ruled him out for a few weeks. But the centre-half returned and quickly reestablished himself back in the starting XI, scoring against Sheffield Wednesday on his return.
Chances of inclusion: With the absence of Shane Duffy through injury, Martin O'Neill will need to bring in an extra centre-half and perhaps Egan may be considered in an extended squad. Players like Paul McShane and Alex Pearce have failed to establish themselves in O'Neill's side and the Ireland manager might be looking elsewhere for defensive cover.
Andy Boyle – Preston North End
The new recruit at Deepdale has the advantage of having been involved in Ireland’s last training camp and experienced the big match atmosphere of an incredible night in Vienna, where Ireland beat Austria 1-0 in November.
Boyle, of course, was not part of the squad that night but spent a valuable week in camp, where the manager and squad would have got a great chance to know the former Dundalk man.
Boyle’s impressive form for the Lilywhites is what attracted the Ireland manager to the composed centre-half but the Dubliner has yet to make an impact on the pitch at Preston.
The debut finally arrived last weekend as Boyle started his first league match for Preston and certainly did not look out of place as his side drew 1-1 with Derby County.
Chances of making the squad: Boyle’s short-term chances of Ireland involvement are unlikely and the manager would hardly be considering him for the Wales clash. However, Boyle may have left a good impression on the manager at the last training camp, which could see him get some action in the Iceland friendly or during the summer.
Liam Kelly – Reading
The Ireland Under-21 midfielder is having a breakthrough season in England and is very much part of the first team furniture in Jaap Staam’s ball-playing side.
Reading are pushing for a return to the Premier League and currently occupy one of the play-off places as the season draws to a close.
And Kelly’s neat and tidy play, composure on the ball and ability to pick a pass is something that will surely be alerting the Ireland management team to his potential.
At just 5ft 5in in height, there might be concerns about the physical side of his game but if he can thrive in the English Championship, which is one of the most brutal and attritional leagues in Europe, he will have no problems on the international front.
The midfielder hit the headlines a couple of years back as he scored a wonder-goal for the Ireland Under-19s against Sweden, catching the keeper unawares from the half-way line.
Kelly was voted Reading player of the month for both December and January, the latter being a real stand-out month with five man of the match performances and taking 81 per cent of the vote for the player gong.