Dick Advocat will bring his Russia side to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on 8 October followed by a trip to Slovakia four days later. Ireland secured maximum points from their opening two games of the campaign against Armenia and Andorra.
Duff and Andrews return after spells on the sidelines at their respective clubs, Fulham and Blackburn. And Celtic striker Cillian Sheridan has been included once more after first being drafted in to provide cover for injuries in the previous international break.
The next two games are pivotal for Ireland as they are pitted against the two perceived ‘big guns’ in Group B.
“We go into these qualifiers with six points from six in the opening games of the campaign in September,” said Trapattoni. “We performed well against Armenia and Andorra and we will build on these good results in our next games against Russia and Slovakia.
The 71-year-old added: “These teams are the top seeds in the group and they will be looking to take three points from us to kick start their EURO campaigns but we have prepared well and will not make it easy for them as we continue to lay the foundations to qualify for the European Championship finals.”
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