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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

Anthony Pilkington, Paul Green to start for Ireland vs Austria

Giovanni Trapattoni has made two changes for tomorrow night’s game in Vienna.

Pilkington: makes his first competitive start tomorrow evening.
Pilkington: makes his first competitive start tomorrow evening.
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Updated 17.02

ANTHONY PILKINGTON WILL make his first competitive start as Giovanni Trapattoni looks to salvage Ireland’s World Cup chances against Austria tomorrow night.

Ireland go to Vienna in desperate need of a win and Trapattoni has made two changes to the side which lost 2-1 against Sweden.

Pilkington, who made his debut as a late substitute last Friday, replaces James McClean on the left wing while Leeds United’s Paul Green replaces the injured Glenn Whelan (hamstring) in the centre of midfield.

“We can’t play with three, four, five strikers when we are away,” Trapattoni said as he explained why it is Green who gets the nod over a more creative contributor like Wes Hoolahan.

“Austria showed us in Dublin that they are not second or third league. It’s a tough game, they are a tough team. We need balance. Hoolahan is like a striker, he usually plays behind striker in his club.”

Pilkington can be a “beautiful surprise” and may be the difference in a game Ireland need to win, Trapattoni said.

“I like him. He’s an athletic player. He can also change his position [on the] right or left.”

Richard Dunne is fit for a second start in five days having shown no adverse effects following his first international appearance in over a year. He makes up an unchanged back five with goalkeeper David Forde, Seamus Coleman, John O’Shea and Marc Wilson.

Jon Walters has shaken off an ankle injury and starts again on the right wing while James McCarthy wins his 17th cap in the centre of midfield.

Up front Shane Long partners Robbie Keane who will be hoping to add to his record 60 international goals in the Ernst Happel Stadion.

Ireland (v Austria): David Forde, Seamus Coleman, John O’Shea, Richard Dunne, Marc Wilson, Jon Walters, Paul Green, James McCarthy, Anthony Pilkington, Robbie Keane, Shane Long.

– Originally posted 15.43

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Niall Kelly

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