Cox gets the nod ahead of McClean
Soccer:Simon Cox will start on the left side of the Republic of Ireland midfield when Giovanni Trapattoni’s side get their World Cup qualifying campaign underway in Kazakhstan tomorrow night (10pm local, 5pm Irish time). Although James McClean has declared himself ready to play, Trapattoni has opted to deploy Cox on the Irish flank.McClean had been considered a doubt earlier in the week as he recovered from a minor illness, with some suggestions that he would not be fit enough to travel to Astana, but took to Twitter this afternoon to insist he was “100% fit” and that his omission was “just managers decision”.
The Sunderland winger would have been a more natural fit but Trapattoni has shown a reluctance to start the youngster in the past, the Italian clearly having more faith in Nottingham Forest striker Cox.
In a team selection that held no surprises, James McCarthy comes into the centre of midfield alongside Glenn Whelan in place of the suspended Keith Andrews. And Darren O’Dea will start at the heart of the Irish defence with Richard Dunne still recovering from a groin injury.
Rep of Ireland(v Kazakhstan): K Westwood; J O’Shea, S St Ledger, D O’Dea, S Ward; Whelan, McCarthy, McGeady, Cox; Walters, Keane.