Monday 16 December 2019

REVEALED! Martin O'Neill names his starting XI with one eye-catching inclusion

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has made one change and one tactical switch to his starting XI for the crunch clash with Belgium today.

As expected, Jonathan Walters misses out with his achilles injury and O'Neill has opted to move Robbie Brady into midfield and deploy Burnley's Stephen Ward at left back.

Apart from that change, the Irish boss names an unchanged team from the side who drew 1-1 with Sweden on Monday in Paris.

Despite his own goal on Monday, Ciaran Clark retains his place alongside John O'Shea ahead of Shane Duffy and Richard Keogh.

James McCarthy partners Glenn Whelan in central midfield despite criticism of his performance against the Swedes.

Belgium boss Marc Wilmots, who came in for criticism after an opening defeat by Italy, opted to replace Laurent Ciman, Radja Nainggolan and Marouane Fellaini with Thomas Meunier, Mousa Dembele and Yannick Carrasco.

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