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If tonight's match feels difficult and disconcerting for the Republic of Ireland, it will not just be because of the German opposition. This qualifier at the Aviva Stadium is the start of a new era for Irish football, or at least a preparation for one.

Seamus Coleman (left) and James McCarthy will both start against Germany

End of an era arrives as Republic Ireland's famous four of Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff and Robbie Keane pass the baton

If tonight's match feels difficult and disconcerting for the Republic of Ireland, it will not just be because of the German opposition. This qualifier at the Aviva Stadium is the start of a new era for Irish football, or at least a preparation for one.

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni

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