McCarthy gets nod for Ireland qualifier
Giovanni Trapattoni has handed Wigan midfielder James McCarthy his first competitive start for the Republic of Ireland in Friday's opening World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan.
Ireland coach Trapattoni, who named his starting eleven for the Astana clash on Thursday, has selected McCarthy in a four-man midfield that also features Aiden McGeady, Simon Cox and Glenn Whelan.
The 21-year-old McCarthy has won only four caps for Ireland, but his impressive form for Wigan last season has persuaded Trapattoni to give him a chance.
There is no place for highly-rated Sunderland winger James McClean, who has been struggling with an illness over the last few days.
The defence is made up of John O'Shea, Darren O'Dea, Sean St Ledger and Stephen Ward, with Sunderland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood between the posts.
Stoke striker Jon Walters gets the nod ahead of Kevin Doyle to partner veteran LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane.
Republic of Ireland team:
Keiren Westwood (Sunderland); John O'Shea (Sunderland), Darren O'Dea (Toronto), Sean St Ledger (Leicester), Stephen Ward (Wolves); Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), James McCarthy (Wigan), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow); Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy), Jon Walters (Stoke).
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