GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI has dropped Wigan star James McCarthy for the crunch World Cup qualifier in Sweden, and opted for the experience of Leeds midfielder Paul Green.
The Italian had been using Green alongside Glenn Whelan in training this week, and confirmed his decision this afternoon at the pre-match press conference in the Friends Arena.
Trapattoni said that the selection of Green will provide Ireland with defensive strength in the centre of the park that will allow the full backs Marc Wilson and, in particular, Seamus Coleman to get forward. “This balance is important,” he said.
“I think in international games you need a good physical attitude, to be strong mentally and he [Paul Green] has that. He showed us that in the game against Poland last month.”
Trapattoni has selected Robbie Brady on the right wing and James McClean on the left, but said there was a question mark over Brady, suggesting that he wants to provoke the Hull man into delivering a big display. “It's a psychological thing,” he said, “I want to push him.”
David Forde makes his competitive debut between the sticks, while John O'Shea and Ciaran Clark are retained at centre half despite the availability of Sean St Ledger.
Skipper Robbie Keane will play a more withdrawn role behind West Brom frontman Shane Long, with Trapattoni instructing his team to defend from the front and peg back a Swedish team with strength in wide areas.
He denied that Green's inclusion was solely to track Swedish star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic, stressing that it will be a collective effort to keep the PSG star quiet and deliver a result to keep Ireland's World Cup qualifying hopes alive.
IRELAND TEAM: Forde, Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Wilson, Brady, Green, Whelan, McClean, Keane, Long.