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Pilkington to make first Irish start

Norwich City's Anthony Pilkington made his debut for the Republic of Ireland in Friday's home defeat to Sweden
Norwich City's Anthony Pilkington made his debut for the Republic of Ireland in Friday's home defeat to Sweden Credit: PA

Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington will make his first start for the Republic of Ireland in tonight's crucial World Cup qualifier against Austria.

The 25-year-old has been named in Giovanni Trapattoni's starting eleven for the clash in Vienna.

Pilkington will be hoping to make a difference to an Irish team that find themselves playing catch-up in Group C, with Friday's home defeat at the hands of Sweden leaving the Boys in Green three points adrift of second place.

Former Huddersfield Town man Pilkington was introduced as a second-half substitute on that occasion to make his international bow, and now Trapattoni has turned to the wide man from the start.

Pilkington's Canaries team-mate Wes Hoolahan could also be called upon by Trapattoni, with the playmaker amongst the substitutes at the Italian's disposal.

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