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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018

Burnley defender Kevin Long handed shock start for Ireland-Austria game

Glenn Whelan captains the side, with no place in the team for Wes Hoolahan.

Kevin Long has previously appeared twice for Ireland, making his full international debut against Uruguay last week.
Kevin Long has previously appeared twice for Ireland, making his full international debut against Uruguay last week.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

BURNLEY’S KEVIN LONG has been handed a shock start for tonight’s Ireland-Austria game.

The centre-back only made his international debut against Mexico the other week, while also featuring in Ireland’s recent win over Uruguay.

The 26-year-old former Cork City defender has struggled to break into the Burnley side due to injuries and the form of others, but made three appearances for the Clarets in May, the first of which was his full Premier League debut having previously appeared once off the bench in the top tier during the 2014-15 campaign.

There is also no place in the side for Wes Hoolahan, with Martin O’Neill opting for a central midfield of Glenn Whelan, Harry Arter and Jeff Hendrick.

Darren Randolph gets the nod in goals ahead of Keiren Westwood despite recent speculation that his place was under threat.

Ireland team to face Austria: Randolph; Christie, Long, Duffy, Ward; Brady, Hendrick, Arter, McClean, Whelan; Walters.

Subs: Westwood, Doyle, Pearce, O’Shea, Keogh, McGeady, O’Kane, Murphy, Horgan, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Hayes.

Austria team: Lindner, Lainer, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Alaba, Kainz, Junuzovic, Baumgartlinger, Prodl, Burgstaller, Lazaro.

Subs: Bachmann, Kuster, Wimmer, Laimer, Grillitsch, Harnik, Stangl, Schaub, Klein, Danso, Gregoritsch, Alar.

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Paul Fennessy

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