England vs Republic of Ireland: Preview

International football returns this week, with England taking on the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday evening in a friendly at Wembley.

It will be a memorable occasion for Chelsea left back Ashley Cole, who will Captaining his country for the first time in his career, to celebrate the defender passing 100 appearances for the three lions.

Manager Roy Hodgson has a few injury worries going into tonights game with right back Kyle Walker being ruled out, along with Tom Cleverley, Steven Gerrard, Jack Wilshere, Andy Carroll and most likely Danny Welbeck.

Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy may gain his first International appearance at some point this evening, and will be the first ever academy graduate from the Madejski Stadium to wear the England jersey.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s men have no majoy injury worries for tonights encounter, although they will be without Stoke City defender Marc Wilson, who has been ruled out with a calf problem.

Reading full back Stephen Kelly is likely to be given the nod at the back, and he will look to help his country continue their unbeaten record against England to six matches.

The vist of the Republic of Ireland ties in with the Football Associations 150th Anniversary celebrations, and they are hoping to match passes without incident after the previous meeting between the countries in 1995 was abandoned due to rioting between fans.

The most likely line ups for both teams this evening:
England XI: Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Cole, Walcott, Carrick, Lampard, Milner, Rooney, Sturridge
Republic of Ireland XI: Forde, Coleman, O’Shea, St Ledger, Kelly, Walters, McCarthy, Whelan, McGeady, Keane, Long

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