Republic hopeful over Keane and Dunne

Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne should both be fit for the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 qualifier against Armenia in Yerevan on Friday.

Last Updated: 02/09/10 at 17:22

Dunne: Should train this evening

Dunne: Should train this evening

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Keane is battling a knee problem while Dunne has missed several days' training this week with a muscle injury.

However, both were expected to take part in a training session at the Yerevan Republican Stadium on Thursday evening and be available for Friday's game.

Dunne will line up in a back four alongside Sean St Ledger with John O'Shea and Kevin Kilbane as the full-backs, while the midfield will comprise Liam Lawrence, Paul Green, Glenn Whelan and Aiden McGeady.

Keane, who will win his 101st senior international cap, will partner Kevin Doyle in attack.

The Republic know a win tomorrow would send them into Tuesday night's clash with Andorra in Dublin with an excellent chance to open their account with maximum points.

However, Giovanni Trapattoni will adopt the same approach as he has done throughout his reign - playing first and foremost not to lose.

Asked if he would settle for a 1-0 victory tomorrow, he said: "Sure. Immediately.

"We have to play as we have played in games in the past. It is important that we recognise when we can play and when we cannot. The most important thing is the result."

Trapattoni's pragmatism may infuriate his critics, but he can point to the positive results which took his team to within a hair's breadth of the World Cup finals.

It is a theme he revisits regularly whenever he is asked if Ireland could play a more expansive game.

He said: "Brazil and Argentina played beautiful football at the World Cup. They went home."

At 71, ambition still burns bright for Trapattoni as he attempts to guide the Republic to the finals of a major tournament for the first time since 2002.

Their current group is a tough one, with Russia, Slovakia and Macedonia their most likely challengers.

Asked if they could go one better than they did in the last campaign, which saw them finish second behind reigning world champions Italy, Trapattoni replied: "I have been a manager for 30 years and I have never said 'I am sure'. But in my heart, I feel maybe we can win it.

"But it is not an easy group - Slovakia, Russia, Ireland..."

As the expectant Armenian media waited, Trapattoni added: "Armenia", although more out of respect than expectation.

Even the most patriotic Armenians will admit Vardan Minasyan's men will have their work cut out to have a major impact on the group.

However, Ireland made something of a name for themselves as they pushed Italy close and then gave France the fright of their lives last time around, and Trapattoni is looking for exactly the same level of performance.

He said: "In the last qualifying campaign, we were unbeaten, and we have to have that same mentality.

"We have to think about our opponents, but the team knows this is our way.

"The first thing, although we always want to play well when possible, is the result. Afterwards, we will think about whether we played well or not.

"We have to play for the result. I don't know whether tomorrow's game will be good or not good, but it is the result that is important."

Kick-off is at 4pm.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Fixtures

Thursday, 09 October 2014
19:45
Belarus v Ukraine  
England v San Marino  
Liechtenstein v Montenegro  
Lithuania v Estonia  
Macedonia v Luxembourg  
Moldova v Austria  
Slovakia v Spain  
Slovenia v Switzerland  
Sweden v Russia  
Friday, 10 October 2014
Belgium v Andorra  

Footer 365

Juan Mata apologises for Manchester United's shock defeat to Leicester

Juan Mata has apologised to Manchester United fans after the team's embarrassing capitulation at Leicester on Sunday.

Premier League: West Ham's Diafra Sakho relishing Enner Valencia link-up

Diafra Sakho reckons West Ham can spring a few more surprises in the Premier League this season.

Transfer news: Daniel Agger left Liverpool after Brendan Rodgers rift

Daniel Agger insists he left Liverpool because of a rift with Brendan Rodgers and did not feel 'appreciated'.

Mail Box

Will Rodgers Finally Drop Gerrard?

The mailbox wants to know if Brendan Rodgers has the stones to drop Steven Gerrard. Plus, thoughts on Wayne Rooney's display, sitting down, and thanking United fans...

Clattenburg And Assistants Should Be Suspended

It's a Mailbox containing Manchester United fans taking defeat to Leicester pretty well, plus some long thoughts on Gerrard and Liverpool, plus Southampton congratulations...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property