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  • August 16, 2012
  • • 02:45
  • • Stadion Crvena Zvezda, Beograd
  • Referee: A. Tudor
  • • Attendance: 7800

Serbia - Republic of Ireland Preview: Trapattoni's men hoping to overcome Euro 2012 disappointment

Serbia - Republic of Ireland Preview: Trapattoni's men hoping to overcome Euro 2012 disappointment

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After a poor showing this summer, the Irish will be desperate for a victory to boost their confidence, although their opposition will provide them with a tricky tie in Belgrade



Bisevac, Ivanovic, Subotic, Kolarov
Basta, Ninkovic
Tosic, Kuzmanovic, Tadic

Kelly, McShane, O'Dea, O'Shea
McClean, Whelan, McCarthy, McGeady
Walters, Long

The hosts will have a new-look squad on show as new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic looks to stamp his authortiy on the national team.

Promising 18-year-old striker Lazar Markovic makes the squad for just the second time, having made his debut back in February against Armenia, while Fiorentina's young left-back Matija Nastasic is also included.

Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandr Kolarov, who both played in the Community Shield on Sunday, are both expected to start in defence, while former Manchester United winger Zoran Tosic is poised to start on the right-hand side of midfield.

Meanwhile, Giovanni Trapattoni will have his work cut out putting together his Ireland side for the friendly after a series of withdrawals left the tactician with few options in all areas.

Wolves pair Stephen Ward (bruised leg) and Kevin Doyle (knee) have been ruled out of the friendly, while Marc Wilson, Keith Treacy, Anthony Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan are all also unavailable due to injury.

After Shay Given's retirement from international football, Sunderland's Keiren Westwood will be determined to step up to the mark and cement his place in the team, with the 27-year-old set to earn his 11th cap.

With several replacements called up to replace the injured stars, veteran coach Trapattoni has also opted to rest senior players such as Richard Dunne and Damien Duff ahead of the start of the new Premier League season, with the Italian keen to give his younger players a chance to prove themselves ahead of the World Cup 2014 qualifiers later this year.

As a result, James McClean and Seamus Coleman are likely to be in contention for a start, while Wigan central midfielder James McCarthy could start alongside Glenn Whelan in the centre of midfield. His Stoke team-mate, Jonathan Walters, will partner Shane Long in attack.

  • Serbia coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who has been in charge since May 2012, scored nine times in 63 appearances as a player for Yugoslavia and also Serbia & Montenegro, and played in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 tournaments.
  • Mihajlovic's men have not won a fixture in their last four games - their last victory was a 2-0 win over Armenia in February - and have only scored once in the process.
  • Republic of Ireland lost all three of their group matches at this summer's European Championships in Poland & Ukraine, scoring just once while conceding nine times.
  • Of the 23-man squad picked by Giovanni Trapattoni for the friendly, only Aiden McGeady of Spartak Moscow based is not based in the United Kingdom, with the squad also containing no home-based Irish players.
  • Ireland's 73-year-old coach Trapattoni is in his 38th year as a football manager, having had spells with Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich before taking the national team job in 2008.
  • The two nations last met each other in a friendly at Croke Park, Dublin, in 2008, when Andy Keogh's 90th-minute equaliser denied Serbia victory after Marko Pantelic's opener.

Players to watch

L. Marković

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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J. McClean

Position: Midfielder

Games: 3

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