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Aiden McGeady and Liam Lawrence fighting for final place in Ireland side against France

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13 Nov 2009 16:45:07

Aiden McGeady and Liam Lawrence fighting for final place in Ireland side against France

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni will make a late decision between Aiden McGeady and Liam Lawrence ahead of Saturday night's World Cup play-off clash with France.   The Italian named 10 of the men who will line up against Raymond Domenech's side at Croke Park, but admitted he is yet to finalise who will play on the right side of midfield.   He will decide overnight on whether to start with attack-minded Celtic winger McGeady, or the more robust Lawrence, of Stoke.   Decision time for Trapattoni: Lawrence (left) could be in the team beside Doyle but McGeady (below) is also in with a chance of facing the French However, there were otherwise few surprises with the bulk of the side the same as that which started against Italy last month.   A back four of John O'Shea, Sean St Ledger, Richard Dunne and Kevin Kilbane will line up ahead of keeper Shay Given, while Damien Duff will start on the left side of midfield with Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews in the middle.   Kevin Doyle will partner skipper Robbie Keane in attack.  Trapattoni's assistant manager Liam Brady has called on the two referees in the showdowns to stand up to FIFA's attempts to keep the path to South Africa open to the world superpowers. The Irish camp are still smarting from FIFA's shock decision to seed last month's play-off draw, handing France and Portugal a supposedly easier route to next summer's finals. German referee Felix Brych will be in charge for the first leg at Croke Park and experienced Swedish official Martin Hansson is in the middle for the second leg in the Stade de France next week. The pair, who have proven Champions League credentials, will be heavily scrutinised over the two games, but Brady is confident both will be able to handle the occasions. The former Ireland captain said: 'These are huge games and I have had experience of playing against the French in tournaments going back 20 years and the one thing you didn't get then was a good referee. 'But now the focus is on the referees, particularly as FIFA changed the seeding for the play-off draw and made it easier for the more glamorous teams.   'The referees are at the top of their games, they are two Champions League referees and the spotlight will be on them. And I am pleased about that because it is a very important aspect of these games for me. 'We have to believe (they will be fair) because these are two Champions League referees and they will be thoroughly scrutinised and we expect better refereeing than when I was a player.'  McGeady hoping the numbers work in his favour for France showdownPetit hits out at Domenech after France boss snubs Vieira for play-offGrown-up St Ledger buries his wild past as Anelka and Henry loom largeBeware the Bull: France ready to unleash Gypsy king Gignac on IrishManchester City star Stephen Ireland stands by decision to snub his countryWenger's Irish stew: Arsenal boss can't call France World Cup play-offDunne dismisses Domenech as 'the man who is messing up France team'CELTIC FC


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