'This upsets me dearly': Ireland's choice of squad numbers is causing a bit of a stir tonight
Published 06/10/2016 | 20:01
Martin O'Neill likes to throw a few curve balls with each Ireland team selection and tonight was no different, with the manager opting to go with a relatively untested centre back pairing.
Ciaran Clark and Shane Duffy start against Georgia tonight, with John O'Shea and Richard Keogh - who were selected for the opening World Cup qualifier against Serbia - selected on the bench.
The inclusion of James McCarthy along with the omission of Wes Hoolahan was also noteworthy, but arguably the biggest talking point following the team announcement were the numbers assigned to the players.
Clark, who will play as the left-sided centre back, will wear three, while Duffy will don the seven jersey, which is usually reserved for a team's flair player.
Many Irish fans took to social media to express their surprise that the Derry defender was handed the prestigious shirt, which is traditionally worn by a speedy wide player.
Shane Duffy wearing number 7 upsets me dearly— JW (@Whelan_94) October 6, 2016
Shane Duffy wearing the number 7 tonight I see, what a lad.— Tom (@tomasomurchu) October 6, 2016
Shane duffy is Ireland's Beckham. He deserves no.7 great call Martin.#COYBIG— David Humphries (@DavidHumphrie15) October 6, 2016
Shane Duffy wearing Ireland's famous no.7 shirt tonight. No pressure, Shane.— Sean Kearns (@SeanPaulKearns) October 6, 2016