From scoring against England at Wembley to taking hold of the captain’s armband, it’s been quite a week for Shane Long. Giovanni Trapattoni has named the Irish team to face Georgia with Wes Hoolahan earning his first start in an intriguing midfield pairing with James McCarthy. Richard Dunne will also feature at some stage.
Shane Long will lead out the Irish team at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday after Giovanni Trapattoni named him as captain for the friendly clash with Georgia.
The latest Irish inductee into the Scorers Against England Club buried any hint of a lingering frosty relationship between the pair arising from Trap’s alleged use of the word idiot after the game with Serbia last year.
RTE’s Tony O’Donoghue quoted on Twitter from the pre-match press conference:
“He didn’t call me an idiot, he said I was idiotic for what I said….He was looking after me,”
Long also revealed that he won’t travel to New York for the game with Spain at Yankee Stadium as he is getting married on June 15th.
Elsewhere, Wes Hoolahan earns his first start for Ireland after failing to feature at Wembley. He partners James McCarthy in a fascinating pairing in midfield, long called for by supporters. Trapattoni intimated that Hoolahan is likely to replace McCarthy for the qualifier with the Faroe Islands as the highly sought-after Wigan man is suspended for the game at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Keiren Westwood starts in goal in front of a back-four of Marc Wilson, Paul McShane, Derby’s Richard Keogh, and Damien Delaney.
Andy Keogh and James McClean will operate on the flanks while Simon Cox teams with skipper Shane Long up front.
Trapattoni also indicated that Richard Dunne would feature for a significant portion of the game
Republic of Ireland vs Georgia:
Westwood, Wilson, McShane, R Keogh, Delaney, A Keogh, McCarthy, Hoolahan, McClean, Cox, Long