Giovanni Trapattoni has again snubbed Kevin Doyle – this time he’s left the Wolves striker on the bench and opted to replace the injured Robbie Keane with rookie Conor Sammon against Austria.
Derby County striker Sammon will make his competitive debut for Ireland in the vital World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.
The 26-year-old is one of two changes to the side that drew in Sweden on Friday night with fit again Glenn Whelan replacing Paul Green in the midfield.
Stephen Kelly is on standby to play at left-back if Marc Wilson fails a late fitness test in a groin injury.
LA Galaxy captain Keane is out of the game with a calf strain picked up in the 0-0 draw with Sweden in Stockholm.
Doyle was left out of the squad for the two games but was handed a reprieve when Keane withdrew on Sunday.
Now though Trapattoni has opted to start Sammon alongside Long as his team look to take advantage of the point gained in Sweden.
John O’Shea will captain the side in Keane’s absence.
Trapattoni explained: “Physically Sammon is strong enough, he’s quick and he is good in the air and he showed us good quality in the last game. He is not only tall, he is fast as well.
“Long is fast as well and we need two fast players. It’s important to defend the ball and give this support to allow the team to come up the pitch.
“We don’t know how Austria will play - will they come and press us or will they stay and wait for us?
“Will they wait for us and hit us on the counter-attack, or will they come and put pressure on us?
ill they give us the space or will we find to find the space? That’s why we need these two fast players.”
Asked about Doyle, Trapattoni referred to the player’s problems as Wolves struggle in the Championship.
He added: “‘I know how difficult it is for you to play at your club. It’s difficult for a striker to play alone and without support.
“We must try win this game, but we must also play with intelligence because there are many games to come before qualification is finished.
“We have to be in contention until the very last game. It will be important to stay up with Sweden because Germany are too far ahead.”
Ireland team to play Austria: Forde, Coleman, O’Shea, Clark, Wilson, Walters, Whelan, McCarthy, McClean, Sammon, Long.
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