Trapattoni names Irish side to face Czech Republic
Giovanni Trapattoni has named a strong starting eleven to face the Czech Republic at the Aviva Stadium.
The Republic of Ireland boss has made just two changes from his trusted team, bringing in Darren O’Dea to replace the injured Richard Dunne in defence, and naming Shane Long in attack. Shay Given will win his 121st cap between the posts, while Robbie Keane makes his 115th appearance. At this afternoon’s press conference, Trapattoni has indicated that he may play a 4-4-1-1 formation with Robbie Keane playing behind Shane Long: “Two years ago, maybe three years ago I said about Robbie, Robbie can play like Totti. I said he can play in this position and he can play well. At this moment, I want to give Robbie the opportunity to play between the midfield and a striker, because he can read the game and feel how the game will be. Long is a player who can allow Robbie to play deep. For the last month, I have watched Spain and Croatia and other teams, and I want to try this. Tomorrow is a test of this situation. I think Robbie can do both jobs well.”
Stephen Ward is the most inexperienced player in the side, with just nine appearances, but looks set to win a lot more as Trapattoni’s first-choice left back. The Italian has hinted that Shane Duffy and James McClean will win their first caps, while late call-up Stephen Henderson could get a run-out in the second half in goal “In the second half, we may use some youth, maybe Duffy and McClean,” Trapattoni told reporters, “[then] they can understand better what usually we do in pitch.”
Keith Fahey and Kevin Doyle have been deemed unfit to play and will return to their clubs.
Republic of Ireland team:
Shay Given, John O’Shea, Darren O’Dea, Sean St. Ledger, Stephen Ward, Damien Duff, Glenn Whelan, Keith Andrews, Aiden McGeady, Robbie Keane and Shane Long.