Sheffield Wednesday keeper Westwood likely to get chance to stake claim for Republic of Ireland place

Republic of Ireland goalkeepers Keiren Westwood (right) and Darren Randolph
Republic of Ireland goalkeepers Keiren Westwood (right) and Darren Randolph
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Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood will tonight be given the opportunity to show that he can be the Republic of Ireland’s number one choice as goalkeeper.

Martin O’Neill’s side take on Iceland in a strangely-timed friendly at the Aviva Stadium, with the manager admitting that players on the fringes of the squad who didn’t get much time, if any, against Wales on Friday are likely to be involved tonight.

That would include Westwood, who is currently playing understudy to Darren Randolph.

The West Ham keeper has been playing well but there are still many pundits who believe that Westwood should be O’Neill’s first choice.

The Owls stopper should, though, get his chance tonight against the European Championship quarter-finalists.

“You don’t want to give out caps just because they are there, you want them to earn it. But for experience, you would want that.

“Some players who have just come into the squad - like the two lads at Preston - have acquitted themselves very well in training and they are basically just starting out in their international careers.

“Some players who have been around the squad but haven’t played regularly may well play as well, and whatever length of time they have on the pitch tomorrow evening, it’s a chance to try to impress, and that is what they will try to do.

“There are a couple of lads who have gone home - Jonathan Walters and Glenn Whelan - so they won’t play.

“In all honesty and in fairness to clubs, some of the lads who played on Friday night who are still with us certainly won’t start in the game and might not participate at all.”