Trapattoni says Dunne and Hoolahan are almost certain to start against Faroes

Keane backs Norwich forward to shine in World Cup qualifier

Wes Hoolahan in action during the friendly international against  Georgia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Peter Muhly/Getty Images

Wes Hoolahan in action during the friendly international against Georgia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Peter Muhly/Getty Images

 

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has confirmed Richard Dunne and Wes Hoolahan are both “90 per cent” certain to start Friday night’s World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands.

Dunne, 33, played his first football for a year in last night’s 4-0 friendly victory over Georgia and is now in line to return to the starting line-up at the Aviva Stadium.

Asked if the central defender would get the nod, Trapattoni said: “He will be 90 per cent on the pitch.”

Norwich playmaker Hoolahan turned in an impressive display in his first start for Ireland and, with James McCarthy and Shane Long both suspended on Friday, seems likely to plug one of those gaps.

Trapattoni said: “Ninety per cent yes. We have no training today but after training tomorrow we can put things a little bit more in place.”

Hoolahan certainly has the backing of his skipper Robbie Keane, who has tipped the Norwich playmaker to put the Faroe Islands to the sword.

Keane, who scored twice after climbing off the bench at half-time, has been hugely impressed by the 31-year-old during his time in the squad.

He said: “He suits me perfectly because I like to get in the hole and Wes is one of these players who likes to get it and play it around corners and play little one-twos.

“You saw that in the second half, the way we linked up, and that’s something we have to look at against the Faroes because they are a team who are going to sit back and we are probably going to have a lot more possession of the ball, so it’s a good weapon to have.

“He is very, very tidy and this game against the Faroes is a perfect game for him.

“It’s a game where we have to go at them because on paper, we should win the game – but it’s easy saying that. It could be the perfect game for him.”