Sport Martin O’Neill (right) and Roy Keane watch their team make a winning start

It was one of those curious nights when events on the sidelines were always going to be more telling than those on the pitch, but Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane can at least take plenty of encouragement from a statement first win in charge of the Republic of Ireland. The new regime got off to a fine start with a commanding win over Latvia.

Roy Keane has been appointed O'Neill's number two

Roy Keane first to arrive for Republic of Ireland training

The assistant manager was there 90 minutes before even manager Martin O'Neill

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Gareth Bale's progress at Spurs has surprised many people

Video: Gareth Bale's greatest goals for Tottenham and Wales

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The Sport Matrix: Monday 3 May 2013

Late Paulinho strikes denies England victory

Everton are still without Steven Pienaar as they face his old club, Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur v Everton match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at White Hart Lane

Ireland striker Robbie Keane

World Cup qualifier Sweden v Republic of Ireland match preview

A look ahead to tonight’s Group C fixture in Stockholm

Aiden McGeady battles for the ball with Simun Samuelsen

Relief for Trapattoni as Irish beat Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands 1 Republic of Ireland 4

Dawn Purvis, programme director of Marie Stopes Northern Ireland in the new Belfast clinic

End of an era as Ireland's veterans 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

Giovanni Trapattoni upbeat despite mounting Republic of Ireland injury list

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni will spend the next two days devising a plan to guide his injury-hit side past the might of Germany.

Giovanni Trapattoni barks instructions at his players

Giovanni Trapattoni hits back at claims he showed too much loyalty to senior Ireland players

Giovanni Trapattoni has hit back at claims that he was too loyal to his senior men during the Republic of Ireland's disappointing Euro 2012 campaign.

<b>Xabi Alonso </b> <br/> Kept possession well and kept the ball moving from deep in the Spanish midfield. 6

Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso wary of Republic of Ireland threat

Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso is expecting a major battle as the Republic attempt to stage a Euro 2012 smash and grab raid.

<b>Mario Gomez (Germany)</b><br/>
Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez scored on his debut for Germany in 2007 against Switzerland. In the 51 games he's played since, he's notched an noble 21 goals. Yet his form in the big tournaments has failed to impress. Despite breaking up the tried and tested partnership of Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose at Euro 2008, he failed to score at the tournament, including a substitute appearance in the final against Spain. At the World Cup in South Africa, he was similarly useless - again failing to find the net even once. But this season he's been in startling form for his club side, scoring 26 goals in the league and an incredible 12 in Bayern's march to the Champions League final - and that's why we're backing the 26-year-old to break his tournament duck and then some at Euro 2012. If he doesn't, Germany can look to those trusted old hands Klose and Podolski to see them through.

Euro 2012 files: The golden boot contenders

Euro 2012 kicks-off in just a matter of weeks and in anticipation The Independent will be running down the key factors and people to keep an eye on in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

James McClean retaining hope of Euro 2012 place with Republic of Ireland

Republic of Ireland new boy James McClean returned to Sunderland determined to force his way into Giovanni Trapattoni's Euro 2012 plans.

Republic of Ireland v Czech Republic: Trapattoni relishes stern test

Republic of Ireland new boys James McClean and Shane Duffy will have to wait for their chance after manager Giovanni Trapattoni kept faith with his established names for tonight's friendly against the Czech Republic in Dublin.

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