DUBLIN (AFP) - Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni on Friday took the unusual step of naming 10 of his starting line-up for Saturday's World Cup play-off against France.
Trapattoni has opted against keeping his team secret before the first leg at Dublin's Croke Park and also revealed he will make a late choice between right wingers Aiden McGeady and Liam Lawrence for the only spot he has yet to decide on.
The Italian's side features a back four of John O'Shea, Sean St Ledger, Richard Dunne and Kevin Kilbane ahead of keeper Shay Given, while Damien Duff will start on the left side of midfield with Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews in the middle. Kevin Doyle will partner captain Robbie Keane in attack.
After finishing a close second to Italy in their qualifying group, Trapattoni's side have no fears about taking on the 2006 World Cup finalists.
Ireland drew twice with world champions Italy in qualifying and Trapattoni believes they will eliminate France if they can surpass the quality of those two performances.
"We need the same spirit, we need the same performance, we need the attitude we have had in the games throughout qualification - but we have to add some more," he said.
"Every player must in these 180 minutes add something more to his performance.
"We must avoid nervousness. These are important games and, in important games, in my experience, some players can lose their cool.
"They have to keep their heads and play as we have done until now and, with this mentality, we can play on an equal footing with France.
"For us, these games are the final of the World Cup, qualification or not.
"It's important we believe in our performance, our mentality, our balance, our spirit. This is our strength."
Trapattoni and his squad are in a remarkably relaxed mood ahead of such a crucial game, in contrast to the French camp, who have been struggling to avoid distracting claims that coach Raymond Domenech no longer has the respect of his players.
However, reported comments from France players suggest they are still confident of victory against a team they seem to regard as little more than a spirited, long-ball outfit.
But Trapattoni had no intention of rising to those jibes on Friday.
"For us, it's important not to have a reaction about these words," he said.
"Domenech is not on the pitch. It is our players against France's players and we do not allow ourselves to think about what we read in the newspapers.
"In the past few days, we have said many words, many things, about this game. Now we must move from words to action."
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