Marc Wilson misses Republic of Ireland friendly against England

Stoke full-back Marc Wilson

England v Republic of Ireland

29 May
2000 BST
Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has named Stephen Kelly and Sean St Ledger in his defence for Wednesday's friendly against England.

With Marc Wilson not risked because of a calf strain, Kelly will start at left-back with St Ledger replacing injured Ciaran Clark at centre-half.

Captain Robbie Keane takes over from Conor Sammon after missing the World Cup qualifier against Austria.

The other change sees fit-again Aiden McGeady replacing James McClean.

McGeady missed the qualifiers against Sweden and Austria because of injury.

Trapattoni opts to leave Wilson out with the World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands coming up on 7 June.

St Ledger was the favourite to partner John O'Shea in central defence despite the availability of Crystal Palace's Damien Delaney and Darren O'Dea.

Defender Delaney linked up with the Republic squad after starring in Palace's defeat of Watford in Monday's Championship play-off at Wembley.

Richard Dunne joined the Republic squad on Monday after not playing a game for Aston Villa all season because of a persistent groin injury.

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Ex-Republic striker Kelly recalls abandoned Lansdowne game

The Aston Villa defender will not feature against England but could be in contention to play in Sunday's friendly against Georgia.

The Republic's resources in central midfield were in danger of being stretched with Paul Green (hamstring) already ruled out but Glenn Whelan (calf) and James McCarthy (hamstring) have both shaken off knocks and are included.

Skipper Keane is available for the Irish are securing his release from the LA Galaxy squad for the Republic's four upcoming games.

Keane will win his 124th cap having only landed in London on Tuesday morning after a flight from Los Angeles.

In the build-up to Wednesday's game, the Republic manager Giovanni Trapattoni has challenged his players to prove they are as good as England's.

The Wembley encounter is the first meeting between the countries since the abandoned clash at Lansdowne Road in 1995 when crowd trouble led to the game being halted.

"Ours play for Stoke and many teams - England's play for Manchester United, they play for Arsenal, but we can show them we are the same," he said.

The Italian's squad is drawn largely from clubs occupying the lower reaches of the Premier League and the upper reaches of the Championship, but they will go head-to-head with Roy Hodgson's aristocrats as the two countries meet for the first time since 1995.

Having seen his players repeatedly defy the odds against supposedly stronger nations, Trapattoni is confident they can make life intensely difficult for England.

"That's a stimulation for me - it's very important that they show they are every bit as good," added Trapattoni.

Trapattoni and Hodgson are old foes from their days in club management in Italy and bumped into each other at the Champions League final at Wembley on Saturday evening.

However, the Ireland boss was less than sympathetic over his English counterpart's injury troubles.

He said with a smile: "I met him at Wembley. He told me he has doubts about missing some players, but I don't think so.

"He's missing Steven Gerrard - OK; Andy Carroll is also out, but they have a strong team. They have others - Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck - it's OK, he has enough offensive players.

"But I have confidence because our team in the last game gave me much trust."

The match will be one of four the Republic will play over the next two and a half weeks with the World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands by far the most important.

There is also a meeting with Georgia on 2 June at the Aviva Stadium and a glamour friendly against Spain in New York on 11 June.

Republic of Ireland team: Forde; Coleman, O'Shea, St Ledger, Kelly; Walters, McCarthy, Whelan, McGeady; Keane, Long

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