Hoolahan and Meyler named in revamped Ireland midfield

Whelan and Arter make way as Martin O’Neill makes two changes for Serbia game

David Meyler and Wes Hoolahan start in the Irish midfield for the World Cup qualifier against Serbia. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

David Meyler and Wes Hoolahan start in the Irish midfield for the World Cup qualifier against Serbia. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has dropped midfielders Glenn Whelan and Harry Arter for Tuesday’s key World Cup qualifier against Serbia at the Aviva Stadium and brought in Wes Hoolahan and David Meyler to a new-look midfield.

Ireland struggled to hold onto possession in the 1-1 draw away to Georgia last Saturday, especially in the middle of the park, with both Arter and Whelan replaced during the game in Tbilisi.

Norwich playmaker Wes Hoolahan starts his first qualifier since the 1-0 away win in Vienna last November.

Meyler replaced Whelan after 23 minutes in that game and the Hull City player started the following qualifier – the 0-0 draw with Wales in Dublin.

O’Neill sticks with the rest of the side that started Saturday’s game, with Jonathan Walters taking over as captain from Whelan. Kick-off is at 7.45pm and you can follow all the action on our live blog.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (v Serbia): Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Meyler, Hoolahan, Brady, McClean; Walters, Long.

SERBIA: Vladimir Stojkovic; Jagos Vukovic, Nikola Maksimovic, Branislav Ivanovic (capt), Antonio Rukavina, Aleksandar Kolarov, Luka Milivojevic, Nemanja Matic, Dusan Tadic, Filip Kostic, Aleksandar Mitrovic.

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