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  • 14 November 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Aviva Stadium, Dublin
  • Referee: E. Shmuelevich
  • • Attendance: 16256

Ireland - Greece preview: Boys in Green close 2012 with home friendly

Ireland - Greece preview: Boys in Green close 2012 with home friendly

Barry Cregg

Ireland close 2012 with a home friendly at the Aviva stadium against the 2004 European champions which will provide a useful run-out for Trapattoni's fringe men


Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Ward
Brady, Whelan, McCarthy, McClean
Cox, Long


Torosidis, Papa'os, Papa'os, Spyr'os
Ninis, Tziolis, Maniatis, Samaras
Salp'is, Mitroglu

Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland will take on Greece at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Wednesday November 14 in an international friendly fixture.

The Boys in Green have to contend with a number of absences and will be without their captain and record goalscorer Robbie Keane, who has been excused due to his club commitments with LA Galaxy. First-choice central defensive pair Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger miss out due to injury, with Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark expected to fill the void in defence alongside stand-in captain John O'Shea.

Spartak Moscow winger Aiden McGeady and Birmingham City Keith Fahey have both been forced to withdraw from the Irish squad, while Stoke City striker Jonathan Walters has also suffered an injury set back, meaning that West Brom striker Shane Long is likely to partner Kevin Doyle in attack while Norwich's Wes Hoolahan will also play a part.

Greece travel to Ireland without several experienced players, with captain Giorgos Karagounis, defensive midfielder Kostas Katsouranis and goalscoring threat Theofanis Gekas not included in the squad. Manager Fernando Santos will, however, be able to call upon the services of Bundesliga pair Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Kyriakos Papadopoulos in defence.

Roma midfielder Panagiotis Tachtsidis is in line to earn his first cap for the Ethniki, while Celtic striker Giorgos Samaras provides a versatile option in attack.

  • The Republic of Ireland have fallen a total of 18 places in the Fifa rankings since their elimination from Euro 2012, sliding from 18 to 36 over the course of five months.
  • The Boys in Green have met Greece twice in their history, in 2000 and 2002, and have yet to defeat them.

  • When Ireland last welcomed Greece to Lansdowne Road, during the reign of Mick McCarthy, they slumped to a 1-0 defeat.
  • Greece surprised the football world in 2004 when they won the European Championships, defeating the hosts, Portugal, in the final

  • Both Giovanni Trapattoni and Fernando Santos have managed Portuguese side Benfica, with the Greece coach assuming the reins a year after the Italian.

  • Greece have not lost any of their five fixtures since Euro 2012, winning four. Ireland, meanwhile, have lost once in their last five games, a 6-1 home defeat to Germany.


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