Three Georgians to be wary of

Soccer writer, Ger McCarthy, highlights the three Georgian players he feels will deserve some special attention from the Irish players.

Three Georgians to be wary of

Jaba Kankava

Defensive midfielder and Georgian captain, Jaba Kankava, will form part of a five-man midfield and attempt to negate Robbie Keane’s influence in Tbilisi.

The experienced Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk player made headlines for saving Dynamo Kiev captain Oleg Gusev’s life during an Ukranian Premier League game in March.

Gusev was knocked unconscious and swallowed his tongue following an accidental collision but Kankava’s quick thinking in clearing the stricken player’s airway saved the day.

Levan Mchedlidze

The 24-year old plies his trade with Serie A side Empoli and should make the Georgian starting line-up ahead of fellow strikers Nikoloz Gelashvili and Vladimir Dvalishvili.

Made his international debut during Georgia’s Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, gaining a first cap against Italy and scoring in the 2-0 victory over Scotland.

Mchedlidze has a tendency to drift out wide for his Serie A club and will require careful marking by the Irish defenders.

Giorgi Loria

Captain of Dinamo Tbilisi until his surprise release earlier this summer, Giorgi Loria remains one of Georgian manager Temur Ketsbaia’s most important players.

Capped 25 times, Loria currently plays for OFI Crete in the Greek Super League, is a dependable shot-stopper and steadying influence on his back four.

Loria’s impressive displays during Georgia’s World Cup qualifiers included a clean sheet in the heroic 0-0 draw with France and narrow 1-0 loss to Spain.

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