Paul Dollery reports from the Aviva Stadium
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND manager Martin O’Neill has made two changes in personnel to his team for tonight’s clash with Wales (7.45pm).
Having made a good impression when he was introduced as a 65th-minute substitute for his home debut in Saturday’s goalless draw with Denmark, Callum Robinson comes into the starting line-up for the Uefa Nations League fixture at the Aviva Stadium.
Aiden O’Brien has also been given the nod. The Millwall striker, who scored on his debut in last month’s friendly against Poland, replaced Shane Long late in the game against the Danes. O’Brien is in from the start tonight at the expense of the Southampton player, who picked up some “knocks and bruises” over the weekend, according to manager Martin O’Neill.
Callum O’Dowda drops out after complaining of feeling unwell during the game against Denmark. Jeff Hendrick is expected to drop into a deeper midfield role, with Robinson set to support O’Brien in attack as O’Neill continues to experiment with a 3-5-2 formation.
Darren Randolph starts in goal for the 22nd competitive international in a row. Richard Keogh retains the captain’s armband in a back three that also includes Shane Duffy and Kevin Long, while Matt Doherty and James McClean will act as wing-backs. Harry Arter will sit in front of the defence, with Hendrick and Cyrus Christie completing the midfield.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Darren Randolph; Richard Keogh (captain), Shane Duffy, Kevin Long; Harry Arter; Matt Doherty, Cyrus Christie, Jeff Hendrick, James McClean; Callum Robinson, Aiden O’Brien.Subs: Colin Doyle (GK), Sean McDermott (GK), Derrick Williams, David Meyler, Shaun Williams, Alan Browne, Shane Long, Sean Maguire, Enda Stevens, John Egan, Conor Hourihane, Scott Hogan.
WALES: Wayne Hennessey; Connor Roberts, Ashley Williams (captain), James Chester, Ben Davies; Joe Allen, Matthew Smith; Tom Lawrence, Harry Wilson, David Brooks; Tyler Roberts.Subs: Danny Ward (GK), Adam Davies (GK), Chris Gunter, Jazz Richards, Andy King, Sam Vokes, Ben Woodburn, Declan John, Joe Rodon, Gwion Edwards, Kieron Freeman, George Thomas.
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