Did Giovanni Trapattoni spring any surprises in the team to face Czech Republic tomorrow night?
We eagerly awaited the announcement of Trap’s latest XI in the hope that we might see some of the names that deserve a run out before Euro 2012 but we ended up disappointed. Again.
There’s no start for Shane Duffy, James McClean or Seamus Coleman, but the trio are on the bench so we should see them at some stage.
In place of the injured Richard Dunne newly crowned young international player of the year Darren O’Dea steps in while Kevin Doyle is not fully fit, meaning Shane Long partners Robbie Keane up front.
The rest of the team is as you would expect, with Shay Given set to win his 121st cap in goal.
When asked about the younger players, Trap hinted that they would see some second-half action.
“In the second half, may use some young, maybe Duffy and McClean, they can understand better what usually we do in pitch,” he said.
We think we can take from that that they are there to learn about international football and how Trap likes to play, but they will have to be sensational to force their way into the Euro squad.
One other nugget of info saw Trap suggest that Keane may play behind Long, in a similar role to the one he played for Aston Villa during his loan spell. Could be interesting to see how that goes at international level.
That, plus the performances of McClean and Duffy, when they come in, should be enough to keep us amused tomorrow night as the road to Euro 2012 really begins tomorrow night at Aviva Stadium.
Republic of Ireland team to play Czech Republic: Given, O'Shea, St Ledger, O'Dea, Ward; Duff, Whelan, Andrews, McGeady; Long, Keane