O'Brien and Connolly get starting chance

Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr has given a starting role to Newcastle United’s Andy O’Brien and West Ham United striker David Connolly for tonight’s friendly international against Turkey at Lansdowne Road (kick-off 7.30pm).

Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr has given a starting role to Newcastle United’s Andy O’Brien and West Ham United striker David Connolly for tonight’s friendly international against Turkey at Lansdowne Road (kick-off 7.30pm).

O’Brien will earn his eighth senior cap as he partners Gary Breen in the centre of the Irish defence in the absence of Kenny Cunningham.

Connolly, with 38 caps to his credit, will line out up front with Gary Doherty.

Damien Duff will return to a midfield role from the striker’s position he held against Russia in the Euro 2004 qualifier at Lansdowne last Saturday.

Nick Colgan will start in goal in place of Shay Given, who damaged his neck against the Russians.

Liverpool's Steve Finnan takes over from Stephen Carr on the right side of defence with Ian Harte keeping the left side spot he occupied after he came on as a substitute when Manchester United’s John O’Shea was forced to retire with a damaged knee against the Russians.

Mark Kinsella returns to the side in midfield in place of the injured Lee Carsley.

The team is :

Nick Colgan (Stockport County); Steve Finnan (Liverpool), Andy O’Brien (Newcastle United), Gary Breen (Sunderland), Ian Harte (Leeds United); Colin Healy (Sunderland), Mark Kinsella (Aston Villa), Damien Duff (Chelsea), Kevin Kilbane (Everton); David Connolly (West Ham United), Gary Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur).

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