The Score by Declan O'Kelly
Irish coach Giovanni Trapattoni names his team to play Brazil
Posted on Monday, March 01, 2010 at 02:19 PM
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Long serving players Shay Given and Kevin Kilbane will make history on Tuesday night against Brazil at the Emirates Stadium in London when both earn their 103rd cap, becoming joint highest capped Irish players of all time.
The two will provide immense experience to the Irish back four, which will be missing lynchpin Richard Dunne, who withdrew from the squad after picking up an injury against Manchester United in the Carling Cup Final on Sunday.
Fulham’s Stephen Kelly and Kilbane will play in the full back berths, while Paul McShane will replace the missing Dunne with Sean St Ledger at the heart of the defense.
The Irish midfield has a familiar ring to it with Liam Lawrence, Glenn Whelan, Keith Andrews (who scored for Blackburn against Liverpool at the weekend) and in-form Damien Duff the chosen quartet.
With Robbie Keane pulling out of the squad with a knee injury after the Old Firm game on Sunday, Newcastle United’s Leon Best will partner Kevin Doyle in attack.
"Until this morning, I had hoped to put out all of the players who were in the last game against France, but at the last minute we are now missing Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne," said Trapattoni on Monday.
"However, I have had this experience before, where my team had to play without the famous senior men and we made a good game.
"It will be important for us to play with the same mentality and performance as we did against France and Italy.
"But we will need more attention, because Brazil are a great team - every player can score a goal; they have so many creative and technical players."
The Italian, who celebrates his 71st birthday on March 17, is expected to give Wigan winger James McCarthy his debut at some stage against the Samba men.
"McCarthy can play behind the strikers, sometimes left or sometimes on the right," said the Italian of the bright young prospect.
"James is a good young player, and in the future his manager can decide which position is better for him. At the moment, he is still searching for his position.”
The full Irish team to play Brazil is as follows:
Shay Given (Manchester City); Stephen Kelly (Fulham), Paul McShane (Hull City), Sean St Ledger (Preston North End), Kevin Kilbane (Wigan Athletic); Liam Lawrence (Stoke City), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Keith Andrews (Blackburn Rovers), Damien Duff (Fulham); Leon Best (Newcastle United), Kevin Doyle (Wolverhampton Wanderers).