Euro 2016: Who will be representing Sunderland?

After guiding the club to Premier League survival, some of Sam Allardyce's players still have a job to do in France this summer.

Euro 2016: Who will be representing Sunderland?
Two of Sunderland's longest serving players could clash at Euro 2016. (Photo: Sunderland AFC)

The majority of the Sunderland squad will now be on their summer holidays, waiting for pre-season to start. But three players who ply their trade in red and white will be heading to France to represent their country. 

One Black Cats star who will not be taking part in Euro 2016 is Fabio Borini, who has been excluded from Antonio Conte's Italy squad after taking part in the provisional training camp.

Another player to miss out is full back Adam Matthews, who was cut from the Wales squad. Matthews spent the second half of the season on loan at Bristol City, guiding them to survival in the Championship.

Despite these exclusions, three men will be travelling across the North Sea to battle for European Championship glory. Interestingly, all three men could compete against each other in the group stages.

John O'Shea

The Black Cats' captain will represent his country at the Euros. (Photo: Daily Star)
The Black Cats' captain will represent his country at the Euros. (Photo: Daily Star)

The 35-year-old centre back will be hoping for a better showing than four years ago with the Republic of Ireland. In 2012, the Irish crashed out of the tournament in the group stages after a dismal campaign. 

This time round could be just as difficult for John O'Shea and his teammates, as they face stiff competition from ItalyBelgium and Sweden

Their tournament begins against Sweden at the Stade de France on 13 June, followed by an even trickier game five days later in Bordeaux against Belgium, who on paper appear to be one of the favourites for the tournament, despite the absence of captain Vincent Kompany. Ireland end the group stage against a Borini-less Italy, who were beaten finalists in 2012.

O'Shea featured heavily at the heart of defence during qualifying, and will be competing with Richard Keogh and Ciaran Clark for a place in the starting XI. If Robbie Keane misses the tournament through injury, O'Shea could captain his country in France.

Sebastian Larsson

Larsson will be hoping to get plenty of minutes for Sweden, having struggled to do so with Sunderland. (Photo: Sunderland AFC)
Larsson will be hoping to get plenty of minutes for Sweden, having struggled to do so with Sunderland. (Photo: Sunderland AFC)

Sunderland's second representative in France is Sweden's Sebastian Larsson, who could come up against O'Shea in the opening round of fixtures in Group E. 

Larsson has struggled to feature this season for his club due to injury. Once he returned to fitness, he was unable to force his way into Sam Allardyce's side, with the form of Lee Cattermole, Yann M'Vila and Jan Kirchhoff keeping the Swede on the sidelines.

Despite making only 17 Premier League appearances, Larsson has been selected in Erik Hamren's squad. The Sunderland number seven was a consistent figure in Sweden's squad throughout qualifying, starting almost every game, and frequently coming off the bench if not.

The 30-year-old's last goal for Sweden came at Euro 2012 against France, and he will be hoping to return to the scoresheet this summer, with free agent Zlatan Ibrahimovic expected to supply the goals.

After facing Ireland, Sweden head to Toulouse to play Italy on 17 June, before ending the group stage in Nice against Belgium.

Emanuele Giaccherini

Giaccherini will be looking to impress as he weighs up his options for the future. (Photo: Getty)
Giaccherini will be looking to impress as he weighs up his options for the future. (Photo: Getty)

The final Wearside representative has spent the 2015/16 season away from the North East, but Emanuele Giaccherini is still a contracted Sunderland footballer. The Italian spent the season on loan at Bologna after he was allowed to leave by former Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat.

The 31-year-old was in Conte's 30-man provisional squad and, unlike Sunderland's number nine Borini, did make the cut.

The little Italian did not feature at all throughout qualifying, but has started the last three friendlies, with one more to come against Finland before the tournament begins.

Italy's first game is against Belgium on 13 June in the new Stade de LyonAfterwards they take on Sweden and the Republic of Ireland in Toulouse and Lille respectively.