Cox in as McClean tweets his fitness 10 years ago

Cox in as McClean tweets his fitness

Taking into account the speculation before the game you probably could recite it without hesitation anyway, but here’s the Ireland team to play Kazakhstan tomorrow afternoon.

As expected, Simon Cox has been included at the expense of James McClean, while Jonathan Walters has seen off the challenge of Shane Long and Kevin Doyle to be named alongside skipper Robbie Keane up front.

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In what has become a depressingly familiar theme in the Irish camp of late, there appear to have been some communication difficulties emanating from the squad.

It had been claimed that McClean might not be considered because of a virus, but the player himself refuted that on Twitter, saying that it was the manager’s decision not to start him and nothing to do with his condition.

Aside from those changes in the front six, Sean St. Ledger and Darren O’Dea form a new look partnership at the heart of the Ireland defence, while Kieren Westwood will start his first competitive game in the post-Shay Given era.

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It wouldn’t be stretching it to say that Irish fans are approaching this game and more significantly the upcoming World Cup campaign with a fair degree of trepidation, but we can only hope that the situation won’t have reached panic stations by the time they’re finished up in Astana tomorrow.

Ireland team to play Kazakhstan: Westwood, O'Shea, St Ledger, O'Dea, Ward, Whelan, McCarthy, McGeady, Cox, Walters, Keane