Gibson and Whelan to hold midfield for Ireland

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni put his faith in Darron Gibson and Glenn Whelan for tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Cyprus.

The 20-year-old Manchester United midfielder was paired with his 24-year-old Stoke counterpart in the heart of the Ireland side as he was handed a first senior international start.

Damien Duff resumed on the left wing in place of Stephen Hunt following his return to fitness, while Paul McShane was asked to plug the gap left by the injured Steve Finnan.

Cyprus were without the suspended Constantinos Charalambides and the injured Michail Chrysostomos, but manager Angelos Annastasiades was able to call upon striker Michael Constantinou after he shook off knee and ankle problems, while Dimitris Christofi was also drafted in.

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