Sunday 17 December 2017

Wes Hoolahan left out of Martin O'Neill's starting XI for Georgia showdown

Jonathan Walters, right, and Aiden McGeady of the Republic of Ireland during squad training at Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Jonathan Walters, right, and Aiden McGeady of the Republic of Ireland during squad training at Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Today's crucial World Cup qualifier between the Republic of Ireland and Georgia will include water breaks.

Sweltering conditions in Tbilisi will be a serious source of concern for Martin O'Neill but the game will include water breaks in the 25th and 75th minutes.

Temperatures hit 37 degrees yesterday and despite the fact that the game will be played at 8pm local time, it is expected to be around 28 degrees at kick-off time.

At yesterday's pre-game press conference, O'Neill said that Ireland would try to retain possession to combat the effects of the heat.

Many believed that O'Neill would start Wes Hoolahan to help with ball retention but he must be content with a place on the bench this evening.

Glen Whelan, Harry Arter and Robbie Brady form the midfield trio with Shane Long starting up from and James McClean and Jon Walters operating on the flanks.

Darren Randolph starts in goals with Stephen Ward and Cyrus Christie operating as full-backs either side of the centre-half partnership of Ciaran Clark and Shane Duffy.

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