Sunday 19 November 2017

Martin O'Neill makes 10 changes from Swiss victory for Slovakia showdown

James McClean, Eunan O'Kane and Rob Elliot all start
James McClean, Eunan O'Kane and Rob Elliot all start Newsdesk Newsdesk

Shane Long is the only player to survive in Ireland's starting XI from the 1-0 victory over Switzerland on Friday for the clash with Slovakia tonight.

As expected, Rob Elliot starts in goal and will earn his fourth international cap. The Newcastle netminder has made 22 appearances for his club this season and has been in impressive form in recent weeks.

With Robbie Keane, Jon Walters, Kevin Doyle and Daryl Murphy all being forced to withdraw from the squad through injury, and David McGoldrick and Adam Rooney not deemed fit enough to feature, Shane Long continues up front and will be joined in attack by James McClean and Wes Hoolahan.

Eunan O'Kane, who came tantalisingly close to scoring his first international goal against the Swiss on Friday, starts in midfield along side Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy.

John O'Shea will skipper the team from centre-back with Paul McShane partnering him. Cyrus Christie and Stephen Ward are the full-backs.

Republic of Ireland team to face Slovakia: Rob Elliot; Cyrus Christie, John O'Shea, Paul McShane, Stephen Ward; Glenn Whelan, Eunan O'Kane, James McCarthy; Wes Hoolahan, James McClean, Shane Long.

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