In a move that is likely to surprise most and annoy others, Conor Sammon has been handed the responsibility of leading the line against Austria .
Following Robbie Keane’s injury, Trapattoni has decided to place his faith in the untried partnership of Shane Long and Sammon. Ireland must beat Austria to go second in the group. Following an impressive display in Stockholm, arguably Ireland’s best since Paris in 2009, the pressure on Trapattoni has eased slightly. Only victory will lift the calls for his head.
Trapattoni’s previous comments suggest he was impressed with Sammon’s display on his début against Poland last month. Many observers thought the Derby County striker contributed little and it’s a massive gamble on the manager’s part to go with a forward with virtually no international experience in a game Ireland must win.
Kevin Doyle has earned a recall to the squad following Robbie Keane’s calf injury. Wes Hoolahan will also have to be content with a place on the bench.
Elsewhere, Glenn Whelan returns to the starting line-up where he replaces Paul Green. Both Green and Whelan were originally slated to start the game in Stockholm but Trapattoni has decided to stick with James McCarthy after his impressive performance against Sweden.
Marc Wilson is a doubt with a groin injury and Stephen Kelly is on stand-by.
John O’Shea captains the side.
Republic of Ireland vs Austria:
Forde, Coleman, OShea, Clark, Wilson (Kelly on standby), Walters, Whelan, McCarthy, McClean, Sammon, Long