Trap expects Keane to start

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni is confident Robbie Keane will be able to start Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier in Macedonia.

Last Updated: 03/06/11 at 18:28

Keane: Should be fit

Keane: Should be fit

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

The 30-year-old suffered a groin problem and limped out of the final training session in Malahide before the squad flew out to Skopje.

However, Trapattoni has named skipper Keane in his starting line-up and admitted that, while he still has a niggling doubt over his captain, it is a small one.

The Italian said on Friday: "We have only, I hope, a little doubt about what happened yesterday.

"I think we can have a check today, but we have also one day to decide if it will be possible for Robbie to play.

"I hope he can because it is important for us that he can play."

Keane's appearance alongside his manager at Friday afternoon's press conference at the Philip II Stadium was a clear indication of his own feelings on the matter.

The striker, who took his international goals tally to 49 with his Carling Nations Cup winner against Scotland last week, said: "It feels a lot, lot better than it was yesterday, but in terms of being fit, I would say definitely, yes."

Keane will partner Simon Cox in attack as the West Brom man makes his competitive debut ahead of Reading's Shane Long, while Keith Andrews has got the nod to link up with Glenn Whelan in central midfield.

Stephen Kelly will start at right-back with veteran Kevin Kilbane on the left and Darren O'Dea lining up alongside John O'Shea in the middle.

Republic team: Given; Kelly, O'Shea, O'Dea, Kilbane; Hunt, Andrews, Whelan, McGeady; Keane (captain), Cox.

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

Premier League: Manchester City's Fernandinho wants win over Chelsea

Fernandinho wants Manchester City to close the gap on Chelsea with victory over the Premier League leaders on Sunday.

Europa League: Everton boss Roberto Martinez delighted with 4-1 win over Wolfsburg

Roberto Martinez was delighted with Everton's display as they brushed aside Wolfsburg to win 4-1 in the Europa League.

Europa League: Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino hits out at Partizan banner

UEFA investigating anti-Semitic banner displayed by Partizan Belgrade fans during goalless draw with Tottenham.

Mail Box

Why Doesn't Rodgers Play Borini?

One Liverpool supporter thinks this could be Fabio Borini's year, whilst we also have thoughts on the Red Bulls, Welbeck vs Gervinho and Paul Lambert's new deal...

Could Arsenal Benefit From Top Four Exit?

That's one idea in the morning mailbox as the Arsene Wenger debate rumbles on. Plus, comparing Welbeck to Gervinho and some advice for Greg Dyke and the FA...

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