Ireland - Poland Preview: Trapattoni set to deploy new faces in experimental friendly
Giovanni Trapattoni's experimental Boys in Green side will play host to Poland at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday February 6
By Ronan Murphy
McShane, O'Shea, Clark, Cunningham
Brady, Whelan, McCarthy, McClean
Piszczek, Wasilewski, Gilk, Wawrzyniak
Blaszczykowski, Obraniak, Grosicki
Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland will take on Poland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Wednesday February 6 in an international friendly fixture.
The Boys in Green will be without a number of veteran players, with captain Robbie Keane allowed to continue his pre-season training with Los Angeles Galaxy and experienced defender Richard Dunne absent through a long-term groin injury.
John O'Shea will deputise for the Aston Villa man at centre-back, and will also wear the captain's armband for the fixture. Trapattoni will also be without Aiden McGeady, Keith Andrews, David Meyler, Seamus Coleman and Marc Wilson, who are all sidelined through injury.
Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington had been expected to win his first cap, but is another absentee after being forced off injured while playing for his club. Derby County trio Conor Sammon, Jeff Hendrick and Richard Keogh could all make their international debuts after being named in Trapattoni's experimental squad, while Wes Hoolahan is expected to make his third appearance in a green jersey.
Poland manager Waldemar Fornalik travels to Dublin with a mostly full-strength squad, having used only domestic-based players in his side's 4-1 win over Romania in Malaga on Saturday. Seven players have been carried over from that game, but there is no room for striker Łukasz Teodorczyk, who scored twice on his international debut.
The most notable absentee in the Polish setup is Hoffenheim defensive midfielder Eugen Polanski, who was ever-present in his national side at Euro 2012. Polanski has already picked up two yellow cards during World Cup qualifying, and as a result will miss Poland's crunch game with Ukraine next month.
As a result, Fornalik has decided to use Wednesday's friendly as a chance to look for alternatives to play in his position. Young Legia Warsaw midfielder Daniel Łukasik is one of the players mooted to take Polanski's place against Ireland, especially after impressing on Saturday with a goal against Romania.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jakub Błaszczykowski will captain the White and Reds, while clubmate Robert Lewandowski is expected to win his 51st cap up front.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- This is the 23rd meeting between the two sides, with the last encounter coming in 2008 in Dublin as Poland ran out 3-2 winners.
That 3-2 loss was Giovanni Trapattoni's first defeat as Ireland boss, but saw Keith Andrews make a goalscoring debut.
- Three of Ireland's last four games with Poland have ended as draws. The last time the Boys in Green came out on top was a 1988 friendly, winning 3-1 at Lansdowne Road.
Poland's last competitive game was a 1-1 draw with England in Warsaw. Waldemar Fornalik's men are currently third in Group H with a game in hand over the Three Lions.
Poland are currently 56th in the Fifa World Ranking, a full 15 places below the Republic of Ireland.
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Top 3 Predictions
Ireland 1-3 Poland
- 20.83 %
Ireland 0-2 Poland
- 13.89 %
Ireland 1-1 Poland
- 9.72 %
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