Preview: Republic of Ireland vs. Sweden

Preview: Republic of Ireland vs. Sweden
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews Friday's World Cup qualifier between Republic of Ireland and Sweden.

Three points against Sweden in their World Cup qualification clash on Friday could move Republic of Ireland into second place in Group C.

A total of 11 points from six games has left the home side in fourth spot in the table, level on points with Sweden and Austria, who sit third and second respectively.

Ireland enter the match off the back of a 3-0 win over the Faroe Islands on June 7, but Sweden could only put two past the same opponents four days later.

Giovanni Trapattoni's side have failed to score in their last two friendly matches, however, with a 2-0 defeat to Spain followed by a 0-0 draw with Wales last time out.

Bristol City defender Greg Cunningham has been drafted into the squad to replace the injured Stephen Kelly, but Aiden McGeady and Sean St Ledger have both been ruled out.

Marc Wilson and Darren Randolph should be fit despite foot and thigh injuries respectively, while James McCarthy, who recently completed a move to Everton from Wigan Athletic, should also be available to start.

Sweden, meanwhile, have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match, meaning that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will lead the line alongside Johan Elmander, who joined Norwich City on loan in the latter stages of the transfer window.

Recent form

Ireland: DWWLD

Sweden: DWLWW

Possible lineups

Ireland: Westwood; Coleman, Clark, O'Shea, Wilson; Brady, McCarthy, Whelan, Hoolahan; Keane, Long

Sweden: Isaksson; J Olsson, Lustig, Granqvist, M Olsson; Larsson, Svensson, Kallstrom, Ekdal; Ibrahimovic, Elmander

Sports Mole says: 2-2

Stephen Kelly of Reading during the Premier League match between Reading and Aston Villa at Madejski Stadium on March 9, 2013
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