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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 23 February, 2018

Hoolahan and Meyler come in to Ireland team for vital World Cup qualifier with Serbia

Martin O’Neill’s side will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing result last weekend.

Meyler and Hoolahan training this week.
Meyler and Hoolahan training this week.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

WES HOOLAHAN HAS been given the nod to start in this evening’s World Cup qualifier against Serbia (7.45pm).

After a frustrating draw away to Georgia on Saturday, the Boys in Green trail their latest opponents by two points at the top of Group D.

Manager Martin O’Neill makes two changes from the side that started in Tbilisi, with Norwich City playmaker Hoolahan in for Harry Arter.

Meanwhile, Hull City’s David Meyler replaces Glenn Whelan and the Cork man is likely to occupy the defensive role in front of the back four.

Ireland could go with five across the midfield and Shane Long as the lone striker once again, but they may also opt to play 4-4-2 in a diamond with captain Jon Walters partnering the Southampton forward up front.

Aiden McGeady has pulled out of the squad with a hamstring injury and returns to his club Sunderland. Preston North End’s Daryl Horgan takes his place in the matchday squad.

IRELAND: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Meyler, Brady, Hoolahan, Walters (c), McClean; Long.

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