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Pilkington set for first start

Anthony Pilkington will make his first start for Ireland against Austria as coach Giovanni Trapattoni attempts to breathe new life into the World Cup qualifying campaign.

The 25-year-old Norwich playmaker, who made his first appearance for his country as a second-half substitute in Friday's 2-1 defeat by Sweden, will replace James McClean on the left side of midfield for a game Ireland simply have to win.

There is a place too for Leeds midfielder Paul Green, who has been drafted in in place of the injured Glenn Whelan.

Ireland are currently three points adrift of the second-placed Swedes with just three fixtures remaining in which to overhaul them and claim the runners-up spot in Group C.

Ireland team: David Forde; Seamus Coleman, Richard Dunne, John O'Shea, Marc Wilson; Jon Walters, Paul Green, James McCarthy, Anthony Pilkington; Robbie Keane (Capt.), Shane Long.


From Belfast Telegraph