Ireland manager seeks a good display and result
Republic of Ireland senior team manager Giovanni Trapattoni is adamant that the players responsible for Euro 2012 qualification deserve their chance to start against Czech Republic tonight.
Darren O'Dea and Shane Long come in for the injured duo Richard Dunne and Kevin Doyle, yet the side has the look of one which the Italian may have in mind for the championship opener against Croatia in Poznan on June 10.
Trapattoni admitted as much when he spoke on the eve of the game about preparing properly for the competitive tournament which is now less than four months away.
His aim of a performance and result against the Czechs is not restricted to it providing a confidence booster for the Euros but also to maintain Ireland's rise up the rankings.
The Ireland manager does plan to utilise his substitutes during the friendly, and uncapped duo James McClean and Shane Duffy have been name-checked as possible entrants from the bench.
"I will start with the group that helped us qualify for the final tournament," said Trapattoni.
"First, we have to have respect for the players who have contributed to qualification. This group has played well and they have played always.
"In the second half I may use some of the younger players. Maybe Shane Duffy and James McClean. We can bring them into our system and help them understand better what we usually do on the pitch.
"The result is important because it helps our ranking. The enthusiasm I have seen from the players in the last few days tells me we can achieve a result.
"We wish to win the game but we must have balance. When our strikers lose the ball, they must come back and defend too."
Starting time for 3 International game tonight at Aviva Stadium, Dublin (ko 7.45pm)
Republic of Ireland: Given (Aston Villa); O'Shea (Sunderland), St Ledger (Leicester City), O'Dea (Leeds United), Ward (Wolves); Duff (Fulham), Whelan (Stoke City), Andrews (Ipswich Town), McGeady (Spartak Moscow); Keane (LA Galaxy), Long (West Bromwich Albion).
Czech Republic: Petr Čech; Theodor Gebre Selassie, Tomáš Sivok, Michal Kadlec, David Limberský; Jaroslav Plašil, Petr Jiráček; Milan Petržela, Jiri Štajner, Jan Rezek; Milan Baroš.