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  • February 29, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Aviva Stadium, Dublin
  • Referee: Manuel Jorge Neves Moreira de Sousa
  • • Attendance: 37741

Republic of Ireland - Czech Republic Preview: James McClean set for international debut against Michal Bilek's men

Republic of Ireland - Czech Republic Preview: James McClean set for international debut against Michal Bilek's men

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Giovanni Trapattoni looks set to hand a debut to the Sunderland winger as the Aviva stadium hosts international friendly action



O'Shea, St Ledger, O'Dea, Ward
McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, McClean
Doyle, Keane

Selassie, Sivok, Rajnoch, Kadlec
Pilar, Jiracek
, Hubschman, Plasil
Baros, Rezek

Republic of Ireland have a number of injury concerns going into the midweek international friendly. Richard Dunne and Darron Gibson were declared unfit to play earlier in the week.

Stephen Kelly and Keiren Westwood have withdrawn from the squad after suffering from thigh and wrist problems respectively. There was some concern over the fitness of Kevin Doyle and Keith Fahey, who both missed training on Monday, but both are expected to take part.

Sunderland midfielder James McClean is expected to play some part in the match and Giovanni Trapattoni may also hand a debut to centre-back Shane Duffy.

Czech Republic were rocked by the news on Monday that Tomas Rosicky would miss the match after he suffered a back strain in the north London derby against Tottenham. Influential defender Roman Hubnik has also been ruled out with a foot injury.

Michal Bilek has called up Jiri Strajner and David Limbersky up as replacements.

  • The last time Republic of Ireland faced Czech Republic, the latter ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a goal from Marek Jankulovski.
  • Ireland are currently 20th in the Fifa World Rankings.
  • Giovanni Trapattoni's men are heading to Euro 2012 thanks to their 5-1 aggregate victory over Estonia in the qualification play-offs.
  • Czech Republic are 29th in the Fifa World Rankings.
  • The Czechs have been paired in a group with Poland, Russia, and Greece at Euro 2012.
  • Since their independence, the Czech Republic have never failed to qualify for the European Championships.

Players to watch

R. Keane

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Ireland's all-time record goalscorer has been in great form during his short-term stint at Aston Villa recently so is going into the match with a lot of confidence. If the Irish are to pull off a victory, you get the feeling it will go through him in some way.

M. Kadlec

Position: Defender

Games: 0

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The full back has been in impressive form for Leverkusen this season and is sure to cause Ireland problems down the left wing on the overlap. Expect him to go up and down the wing all game and get some quality service into the box.

Editor's Prediction

In front of a packed Aviva stadium, Ireland will have an advantage over Czech Republic due to the backing of the home fans. The visitors have been known recently to play in a rigid manner so a draw will suit Michal Bilek, but with likes of Aiden McGeady, Robbie Keane, and Kevin Doyle at the disposal of Giovanni Trapattoni, they may just have the quality to sneak a win.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

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