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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 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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