Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni named his starting XI and hailed the clash with Germany as “a match I would love to play myself. I’ve been looking forward to this game” at Thursday’s pre match press conference.
Trapattoni named his side in a 4-3-3 formation, which will for all intents and purposes be 4-5-1 come (or shortly after) kick off.
Trapattoni stated that Robbie Keane’s absence had not greatly influenced the outlook of his team.
The Italian said he believed that the game would be physical and he made his choices with that in mind but that he had not been tempted to start striker Shane Long from the outset.
Trapattoni said that the “big decision” for him was to start Séamus Coleman in place of the more experienced Stephen Kelly, who had been favorite for the wide defensive berth.
Trapattoni says that he has in fact not changed the system (from his typical 4-4-2) but that this formation could be changed to 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 (or 4-5-1) and that the team could change “maybe after 30 minutes.”
Following a question from German media, Trapattoni said that playing against them would be special, having managed Bayern Munich previously and that while “Ireland do not have players of the quality of Ozil or Gotze, we have our own quality.” Trapattoni also said he would not delegate an Irish player to man mark Ozil, because “Ozil is a player that is very difficult to mark and we must be in good balance.”
New captain O’Shea insisted that he believed that Séamus Coleman would not be fazed by the fact that this will be his first start in a competitive international against such vaunted opposition and in such a big game.
O’Shea also insisted that he did not fear that the fact that he has only lined up alongside Darren O’Dea once before in a competitive clash (against Macedonia 18 months ago) in the centre of the defence, would be a negative and that the whole team would need to put in a big shift, with the substitutes also likely to play an important role also to get a positive result.
German head coach Joachim Loew meanwhile has named his starting XI for Friday night’s match at a press conference at Lansdowne Road.
The German starting XI v Ireland (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Schmelzer, Badstuber, Mertesacker, Boateng; Schweinsteiger Khedira; Müller, Özil, Reus; Klose.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
PREDICTION: Republic of Ireland 0-2 Germany