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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 21 September, 2018
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Trap weighing up Hoolahan start as attention turns to Georgia

Giovanni Trapattoni says he will speak to Richard Dunne before deciding what part he will play against Georgia.

Hoolahan: scored his first international goal in February.
Hoolahan: scored his first international goal in February.
Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

WES HOOLAHAN IS set to get his chance against Georgia — but Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni says he will need to “think again” before making a final decision.

Hoolahan played no part in the 1-1 draw against England last night and afterwards, Trapattoni said he wasn’t sure if the Norwich City playmaker could tough it out in a physical midfield battle.

Speaking as the team returned to Dublin this evening, Trapattoni promised that he will shuffle his deck for Sunday’s friendly and give fringe players a chance to stake their claim ahead of the World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands.

There are slight injury doubts over “two or three players,” including Glenn Whelan, and Hoolahan may get his chance in midfield if the Stoke man is rested.

“I have to think again,” Trap said when asked if Hoolahan will start. “Probably yes, probably, but we have to see again because we have also Hendrick and Whelan and the others.

It’s important for Whelan to have a rest in this moment, he had a very tough season. But Wes could be one of the two midfielders, could be.

(©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan)

Richard Dunne is also primed to make his long-awaited return after taking part in the squad’s recent training sessions. Dunne has not played competitively for club or country since the Euro 2012 defeat to Italy last June and Trapattoni says he will speak to the player before deciding if he starts or makes an appearance from the bench.

The Italian will also be keeping a close eye on the fitness of Marc Wilson who missed the England game with a calf strain, with Stephen Kelly deputising at left-back in his place.

“Against Georgia he needs to play so we have an idea if he is ready for the Faroes or not,” Trap said.

David Forde, whose second-half saves secured Ireland’s Wembley draw, is likely to be rested on Sunday with reserves Keiren Westwood and Darren Randolph expected to share goalkeeping duties.

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Niall Kelly

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