Rep of Ireland v Wales preview
The Carling Nations Cup gets underway in Dublin
Last Updated: 08/02/11 7:28pm
Trapattoni: Ireland have found form
Republic of Ireland take on Wales in the opening game of the Carling Nations Cup on Tuesday.
7.30pm, Tue, Sky Sports HD1, Sky Sports 1, in Sky 3D and online with Sky Player
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The inaugural event, which is due to take place on a biennial basis, is to be staged in Dublin, with Scotland and Northern Ireland also competing for the trophy.
The Republic of Ireland will get the event underway, with the impressive Aviva Stadium chosen as the host venue.
Giovanni Trapattoni's side have enjoyed a productive start to their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign and will be looking to maintain that momentum in the Nations Cup.
They currently sit second in Group B, just behind Russia, with seven points taken from their four games so far.
Ireland must be wary of taking Wales lightly, though, despite their recent troubles.
A disappointing opening to their European Championship campaign saw John Toshack fall on his sword back in September 2010.
Since then former midfielder Gary Speed has been handed the reins and Tuesday's clash will be his first in the national hot-seat.
The appointment of a new boss has a tendency to raise morale and improve performance levels, and Wales will be hoping that proves to be the case under Speed.
They need to shake themselves out of a slump which has seen them lose all three of their Euro 2012 qualification fixtures so far.
With England next on their fixture list, in what promises to be a highly-charged encounter at Millennium Stadium on 26th March, it is imperative they head into that game with belief restored.
Ireland team news
Ireland boss Trapattoni will hand debuts to Seamus Coleman and Ciaran Clark in midweek.
Coleman, who has been in fine form for Everton this season, will start on the right side of midfield, while promising Aston Villa defender Clark has been named at left-back.
Trapattoni has yet to choose between Darron Gibson and Paul Green for a central midfield berth alongside Glenn Whelan, but the Italian has confirmed that Stoke striker Jonathan Walters will make his first start up front, partnering Kevin Doyle.
Wales team news
Speed has handed the Wales captaincy to Aston Villa centre-back James Collins, with Craig Bellamy having relinquished the role.
He will be partnered by namesake Danny Collins at the heart of the defence and they will be flanked by Neal Eardley and Sam Ricketts, with Wayne Hennessey in goal.
Andrew Crofts, Andy King and David Vaughan will line up in midfield, while Reading duo Simon Church and Hal Robson-Kanu will be in attack alongside Rob Earnshaw.
The likes of Bellamy, Ashley Williams and Joe Ledley are being rested after playing in tough local derbies on Sunday.