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HOOLAHAN STARTS

7 June 2013

Midfielder named in first eleven for Ireland's qualifier

WES Hoolahan is set to make his first start in a competitive international match for Republic of Ireland after being named in the team to face Faroe Islands in their World Cup qualifier in Dublin tonight (7:45pm).

The 31-year-old impressed in last week’s 4-0 friendly drubbing of Georgia and will line-up in central midfield for Giovanni Trapattoni’s men in place of the suspended James McCarthy, earning his sixth full international cap.

A win will see Ireland move into second place in Group C if the two teams above them, Austria and Sweden, draw when they meet in Vienna.

Meanwhile, Scotland travel to Zagreb to face leaders Croatia (7.15pm) in their Group A meeting, with Canaries trio Russell Martin, Steven Whittaker and Robert Snodgrass all in the squad.

Gordon Strachan’s defensive woes could see Martin picked at centre-back, the position he finished the season in when City beat Manchester City 3-2 last month, and although they have struggled in this campaign up to now, Snodgrass insists the players will be giving their all.

“It is a matter of pride. Most footballers I know want to win every training session never mind games and that's what it will take to get a result there,” he said at his press conference earlier this week.

“I think the table says it all. We are down at the bottom, they are fighting at the top, but there is a level of pride at stake and a belief that we can get a result.”

Incoming forward Ricky van Wolfswinkel is part of the Netherlands squad for their friendly against Indonesia in Jakarta (2.30pm).

The 24-year-old, who will join the Canaries on July 1 from Sporting Lisbon, will be looking to add to his one cap for Louis van Gaal’s side.


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