Thursday, September 1, 2011

Shane Long rewarded with Irish start

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has rewarded Shane Long for his strong start to the season at West Brom with a starting place for tomorrow’s vital European Championship qualifier against Slovakia, with Kevin Doyle the player to miss out.

Kevin Kilbane has failed to recover from a back injury and will return to Derby County this afternoon. Damien Delaney has been drafted in to the squad to replace the veteran left back.

The rest of the line-up is along expected lines, with Shay Given passing a fitness test to take his place in nets, with John O’Shea named at right back and Richard Dunne and Seán St Ledger filling the central defensive slots.

Keith Andrew and Glenn Whelan have been named in central midfield, with the wide berths going to Aiden McGeady and Damien Duff. Robbie Keane will partner Long up front.

Wigan midfielder James McCarthy will also be called into the squad later this evening after he takes part in the Under-21 match against Hungary in Sligo.

Ireland: Shay Given, John O'Shea, Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger, Stephen Ward, Damien Duff, Keith Andrews, Glenn Whelan, Aiden McGeady, Robbie Keane and Shane Long