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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 21 May, 2018

Cox to partner Keane up front as Trap names team

After a week of speculation, the Italian has confirmed the XI that will face Macedonia tomorrow night.

Simon Cox in action during last Sunday's Carling Nations Cup win over Scotland.
Simon Cox in action during last Sunday's Carling Nations Cup win over Scotland.
Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI HAS confirmed the Ireland team to face Macedonia in Skopje tomorrow.

As speculated during the week, Simon Cox will start up front ahead of Shane Long. Skipper Robbie Keane will partner the West Brom forward in the crucial European Championships qualifier, despite injury concerns.

The Spurs man will have to prove his fitness however with Long ready to slot in if needed.

The Italian said: ‘We have only, I hope, a little doubt about what happened yesterday. I think we can have a check today, but we have also one day to decide if it will be possible for Robbie to play.

‘I hope he can because it is important for us that he can play.’

Sean St Ledger will not be risked at centre half; Darren O’Dea is paired with John O’Shea while Stephen Kelly and Kevin Kilbane complete a new-look defence.

Aiden McGeady and Stephen Hunt will offer width while Trap’s preferred central midfield duo of lenn Whelan and Keith Andrews are selected.

The full team is: Given, Kelly, O’Dea, O’Shea, Kilbane; McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, Hunt; Keane, Cox.

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