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Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
Support for strike pair
Robbie Keane helped the Republic of Ireland beat Iran in the World Cup play-off
Robbie Keane helped defeat Iran in the play-off
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has hailed Robbie Keane and Damien Duff as a 'terrific' attacking partnership.

He has named the pair as his twin strikers for the home friendly against the USA on Wednesday.

And while the veteran Niall Quinn, who misses the friendly with a neck injury, will be in the World Cup reckoning, McCarthy is clearly excited by the Keane-Duff combination.

"I watch those two in training on a daily basis and they are a terrific partnership," said McCarthy.

"They have a great understanding, and I think their pace and mobility will frighten defenders, because they are difficult to deal with."

McCarthy's squad of 24 for the friendly is missing Manchester City's Richard Dunne, who has returned home with a hamstring injury, and Sunderland's Jason McAteer, forced out with a groin strain.

Southampton winger Rory Delap, making his first international appearance for two years, takes over on the right side of midfield from Jason McAteer.

Delap is one of several players with a last chance to stake their claim for a place at the World Cup finals.

McCarthy is hoping to learn something from the match at Lansdowne Road, before he names his 23-man squad for the tournament in Japan and Korea.


Republic of Ireland squad:

Goalkeepers: S Given (Newcastle), D Kiely (Charlton), N Colgan (Hibernian).

Defenders: S Staunton (Aston Villa), I Harte (Leeds), R Dunne (Manchester City), G Breen (Coventry), A O'Brien (Newcastle), G Kelly (Leeds), K Cunningham (Wimbledon)

Midfielders: S Finnan (Fulham), J McAteer (Sunderland), M Holland (Ipswich), M Kinsella (Charlton), K Kilbane (Sunderland), S Reid (Millwall), C Healy (Coventry), R Delap (Southampton)

Strikers: Robbie Keane (Leeds), C Morrison (Crystal Palace), D Duff (Blackburn), D Connolly (Wimbledon), R Sadlier (Millwall).

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