Cardiff City captain Graham Kavanagh is line for a first international appearance for the first time in four years.
Kavanagh has led by example for Cardiff this season
The influential midfielder has been named in the Republic of Ireland squad to face Switzerland in the vital Euro 2003 qualifier on 11 October.
And Irish manager Brian Kerr says Kavanagh has a good chance of wearing the green jersey for the first time since a friendly appearance against Northern Ireland in 1999.
"Graham Kavanagh has been playing very well for Cardiff this season," said Kerr, who watched Cardiff's Carling Cup game with West Ham United last week.
"He is the central player for them in midfield and like everyone else in the squad will be hoping to stake a claim in the starting line up."
Kavanagh said he was elated, adding it topped a memorable few months which included promotion to Division One and the birth of his son Callum.
"I feel on top of the world at the moment - everything is going great and now to finally get that call-up is fantastic," Kavanagh told BBC Sport.
"I've never given up hope of playing for Ireland, and now it's come around I'm going to enjoy it for what it is and hopefully get a run out."
Manchester City defender Richard Dunne has been ruled out of the match which the Irish must win to have any hope of winning the Group 10.
Dunne picked up an ankle injury in Manchester City's recent Uefa Cup tie against Belgian club Lokeren.
His absence creates further centre-back problems for Kerr with captain Kenny Cunningham ruled out of the Swiss clash because of suspension.
On the plus side, Gary Breen has recovered from a groin injury and could be in line to captain the Irish in Switzerland.
Back in the starting line-up for the St Jakob Park Stadium clash will be Tottenham striker Robbie Keane who was ruled out by injury for the 1-1 draw with Russia in Dublin last month.
Republic of Ireland squad: Given (Newcastle), Colgan (Stockport), Murphy (West Brom); Carr (Tottenham),
Finnan (Liverpool), Breen (Sunderland), Harte (Leeds), O'Brien (Newcastle),
O'Shea (Man Utd); Carsley (Everton), Healy (Sunderland), Holland (Charlton),
Kavanagh (Cardiff), Kinsella (Aston Villa), McPhail (Nott'm For), Reid
(Blackburn), Kilbane (Everton); Connolly (West Ham), Doherty (Tottenham), Duff
(Chelsea), Keane (Tottenham), Morrison (Birmingham).