Irish trust in Staunton

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Steve Staunton, the Aston Villa defender, is all but certain to extend his record number of Republic of Ireland caps to 91 when Mick McCarthy's team take on the Netherlands in their crucial World Cup qualifier in Dublin on 1 September.

The 32-year-old – first capped by the former manager Jack Charlton in a 4-0 victory over Tunisia in Dublin in 1988 – will partner Manchester City's Richard Dunne in the centre of defence. Unveiling his squad for the game, McCarthy said: "I have absolutely no worries about that partnership as both players have excelled in our recent games against Portugal, Estonia and Croatia."

The Sunderland striker Niall Quinn and the Ipswich midfielder Matt Holland return to the squad after missing out on last week's 2-2 friendly draw with Croatia in Dublin. Both have recovered from ankle injuries and McCarthy is keeping his fingers crossed that there will be no further withdrawals from his squad.

"I was already resigned to being without Stephen Carr, Mark Kinsella, Kenny Cunningham and Gary Breen," he conceded. "Like Sven Goran Eriksson and Craig Brown, I will be hoping all our players come through the midweek fixtures and those this weekend."

Manchester United's Roy Keane will captain the side and is determined to lead the Irish to the World Cup finals for the first time since USA 1994. In the absence of Charlton's injured midfielder Kinsella, Keane will be partnered by Holland in the centre .

The Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison and Millwall midfielder Steven Reid are also included in McCarthy's 22-man party for a game that the Dutch must win to have any hope of reaching the finals in Japan and South Korea next summer.

A draw would almost certainly guarantee the Republic at least a play-off place as their final match is at home to Cyprus on October 6 at Lansdowne Road.

Morrison, who scored on his debut against Croatia, is likely to win a place on the bench following an excellent start to the season which has seen him hit five goals in four games.

McCarthy must still decide on whether the aerial strength of Quinn should be used alongside either Blackburn's Damien Duff or Robbie Keane of Leeds. "There are a number of options open to me," he said. "But I just have to wait and see all the club fixtures over the next few days before making my mind up on the starting line-up."

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