Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ireland v Uruguay team

Stephen Kelly will captain Ireland in tonight's friendly with Uruguay.

The 27-year-old Fulham defender will take over the armband from Robbie Keane who has been released as manager Giovanni Trapattoni takes a look at some of his back-up players.

Kelly, who will win his 21st cap, was an unused substitute in Saturday night's 2-1 Euro 2012 qualifier victory over Macedonia.

Having made his first competitive appearance off the bench against Macedonia, Wigan's James McCarthy will start behind the lone striker Shane Long between Andy Keogh and Liam Lawrence and in front of Keith Fahey and Paul Green.

Kelly will be in the centre of defence with Ciaran Clark on the left, Darren O'Dea in the centre and Kevin Foley on the right.

Keiren Westwood continues in goal in the absence of Shay Given.

Kelly admits he cannot wait for his big night. 'It's a huge honour, a huge privilege. The boss told me this morning,' he said.

'It's something you always dream of when you are a kid, first of all to play and represent your country, and then to lead your team out is just one of the of the greatest honours I can possibly ask for in football. I'm extremely happy.

'I have not played for a couple of months, but fitness-wise, I have always been an extremely fit player and being able to come in and play 90 minutes now, I don't think will be a problem to me.

'I am just looking forward to the opportunity and hopefully it's something I can really enjoy.

'It's going to be a difficult game - Uruguay are a strong side. [Luis] Suarez has pulled out, but it still doesn't affect their potency and how tough a game it is going to be.

'It is something I'm really looking forward to and I am delighted with the privilege. Hopefully we can go out there and give a really good account of ourselves.'

Ireland team to play Uruguay in an international friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday 29 March:

Westwood; Foley, O'Dea, Kelly (capt), Clark; Lawrence, Fahey, Green, Keogh; McCarthy, Long