Friday 20 April 2018

Martin O'Neill goes with Kevin Long and Glenn Whelan in his starting XI with Wes Hoolahan on the bench

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill Newsdesk Newsdesk

Burnley's Kevin Long will partner Shane Duffy in the centre of Ireland's defence for their crucial World Cup qualifier against Austria at the Aviva.

Harry Arter is rewarded for his man of the match display against Uruguay last week with a place in the Irish midfield alongside Glenn Whelan and Jeff Hendrick.

Wes Hoolahan must be content with a place on the Irish bench.

Darren Randolph starts ahead of Kieren Westwood in goal with Cyrus Christie and Stephen Ward filling the full-back berths.

Robbie Brady and James McClean occupy the wings with Jon Walters playing a central role up front.

"It's hard to see where the playmaker is in midfield. Glenn Whelan's presence is inexplicable," Eamon Dunphy told RTE.

"I think Kevin Long is a big gamble."

Ireland XI: Randolph, Christie, Long, Duffy, Ward; Whelan, Arter; Brady, Hendrick, McClean; Walters

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