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TEAM NEWS: Jelavic & Mandzukic start in attack for Croatia

TEAM NEWS: Jelavic & Mandzukic start in attack for Croatia

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Slaven Bilic opts for a 4-4-2 formation in his side's opening match of Euro 2012, with the in-form Everton striker set to lead the line

Nikica Jelavic and Mario Mandzukic are have been selected to spearhead the attack of Croatia against the Republic of Ireland in the second Group C match of the day in Euro 2012.

Both coaches have opted for a 4-4-2 formation this evening, with Slaven Bilic employing Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic either side of Luka Modric and Ognjen Vukojevic in midfield for Croatia. Vedran Corluka starts the match in a central defensive position, with captain Darijo Srna taking up his usual position at right-back.

Ireland have been given a boost knowing that first-choice goalkeeper Shay Given is available for selection again after recovering from back and calf injuries.  John O’Shea proved his fitness in the recent friendly against Hungary, and starts the match at right-back.

Giovanni Trapattoni has given the nod to Kevin Doyle up front, with the Wolves man edging out Jon Walters and Shane Long to earn a starting slot against the Croatians.

Spartak Moscow winger Aiden McGeady will start the match on the left-hand side, with Damien Duff supporting attackers Doyle and Robbie Keane from the right flank.

Republic of Ireland (4-4-2): Given; O'Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Ward; McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, Duff; Keane, Doyle

Croatia (4-4-2): Pletikosa; Srna, Corluka, Schildenfeld, Strinic; Rakitic, Vukojevic, Modric, Perisic; Mandzukic, Jelavic

 

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