Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given will win his 121st cap for the Republic of Ireland against Czech Republic on Wednesday night as Giovanni Trapattoni has named a strong side for the international friendly.
The Italian manager has gone with the team close to the one that might start at Euro 2012 against Croatia in Poznan on June 10 with Lifford native Given keeping goal. Darren O’Dea of Leeds United joins Sean St Ledger from Leicester City at the heart of the defence in the absence of Ricard Dunne, who suffered a fracture to the right clavicle earlier this month against former club Manchester City.
The other position up for grabs is the right to partner skipper Robbie Keane. Shane Long of West Bromwich Albion will get his opportunity to stake his claim in Dublin although Simon Cox, Jonathan Walters and Kevin Doyle are also in contention.
Killybegs native Seamus Coleman, as well as the likes of young guns James McCarthy, James McClean and Shane Duffy, whose father Brian is from Letterkenny, will hope to make an impact from the bench.
Republic of Ireland team v Czech Republic: Shay Given (Aston Villa);
John O’Shea (Sunderland), Sean St Ledger (Leicester City), Darren O’Dea (Leeds United), Stephen Ward (Wolverhampton Wanderers); Damien Duff (Fulham), Keith Andrews (West Bromwich Albion), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City),
Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow); Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion).