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Republic of Ireland v Poland

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Lewandowski: Could he be the difference?

Lewandowski: Could he be the difference?

The Republic of Ireland welcome Poland to the Aviva stadium on Wednesday for an International friendly hoping to beat the Poles for the first time since 1988.

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Giovanni Trapattoni will be without a number of regulars for the much anticipated clash: Aiden McGeady (hamstring), Keith Andrews (Achilles), David Meyler (knee), Seamus Coleman (thigh) and Marc Wilson (broken leg) are all sidelined through injury.

Captain Robbie Keane will also miss the fixture after choosing to continue his pre-season preperations with MLS side LA Galaxy while the experienced Richard Dunne is out with a long-term groin injury.

John O'Shea is expected to replace Dunne in the centre of defence as well deputise as captain for the clash, Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark will likely partner the Sunderland man in defence.

Fellow Black Cat James McClean is expected to start out wide for the Boys in Green, with a combination of either Glen Whelan, Wes Hoolahan or Wigan's James McCarthy making up the centre of midfield.

Derby County striker Conor Sammon could be handed his debut by Trappitoni if he decides to pair the 26-year-old with Shane Long up front.

Meanwhile, The White and Reds travel to Dublin with close to a full strength side; talented Hoffenheim midfielder Eugen Polanski being the only notable absentee.

Waldemar Fornalik may look to the promising Legia Warsaw midfielder Daniel Lukasik to deputise for Polanski especially after finding the net against Romania on Saturday.

Jakub Błaszczykowski will captain the side, and his pace, coupled with Borussia Dortmund team-mate Robert Lewandowski's finishing ability is bound to cause the oftentimes shaky Irish defence problems.

Poland have not lost to Ireland since May 1988, where they were beaten 3-1 at Landsdowne Road, Fornalik will no doubt try to keep that record in tact.

Posted: 05/02/13 16:12

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