England v Republic of Ireland – Match preview and team news

Roy Hodgson has faced a raft of withdrawals and looks set to name a makeshift starting XI as his England side prepare to take on the Republic of Ireland for the first time since an ill-fated abandoned match in Dublin in 1995.

In defence, with both Rio Ferdinand and John Terry now retired from international football, while Chris Smalling is out through injury, two of Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Phil Jones and Joleon Lescott will make up the central-defence. Ashley Cole will start at left-back ahead of Leighton Baines and has been named captain as a way of commemorating his achievement of reaching 100 caps for the Three Lions.

Midfield has seen the most absences, with captain Steven Gerrard (shoulder), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Tom Cleverley (calf) all ruled out. Michael Carrick and Frank Lampard should make up the central-midfield, flanked by two of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner.

Attack sees England at relative full-strength, though Andy Carroll is absent with a heel injury. Wayne Rooney looks certain to start after his uncomfortable end to the season for Manchester United and he could be partnered by either club-mate Danny Welbeck or the in-form Liverpool striker, Daniel Sturridge, who is still awaiting his full international debut.

For the Republic of Ireland, this clash represents their first visit to Wembley since 1991 as part of the Football Association’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni is without striker Kevin Doyle (achilles tendon), winger Anthony Pilkington (knee), midfielder Paul Green (hamstring) and defender Marc Wilson (calf).

However, the veteran Italian can call on the services of the 32-year-old Robbie Keane, who has 123 caps for his country, after the striker was given permission by club side Los Angeles Galaxy to join up with the Republic squad.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on England v Republic of Ireland

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