Keane to lead Republic against England

Published Monday, 13 May 2013
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Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has named a provisional squad for this month's much anticipated friendly against England.

Keane to lead Republic against England
Robbie Keane joggles with a ball during a training session (© Getty)

The side will be lead by 32-year-old captain Robbie Keane, who has missed three games at Los Angeles Galaxy with an ankle injury, but will be fit for the Wembley clash on 29 May.

Spartak Moscow midfielder Aiden McGeady and Norwich's Anthony Pilkington are also set to return, but there was no place for Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne, who continues his recovery from a long-standing groin problem, or the injured Ciaran Clark and Kevin Doyle.

The Irish and English have not met since 1995 when rioting broke out at Landsdowne Road, forcing the game to be abandoned.

Following the game this month, Trapattoni's team will play Georgia on Dublin on 2 June before taking on the Faroe Islands in a World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium five days later.

They currently sit fourth in their group.

"We must consider the positives from our games against Sweden and Austria when preparing for these fixtures," the 74-year-old Italian said on Monday. "We produced two strong performances and the players have proven that they are working very well together.

"I am very happy to have the squad together for these games, firstly to prepare for the Faroe Islands World Cup qualifier, and then for the challenges we have ahead of us in September.

"This trip creates the chance to work with the players for a longer period than usual in order to bond and plan for the remainder of our FIFA World Cup qualifier games.

"These matches will provide me with the opportunity to experiment with different players and tactics. I am looking forward to assembling the squad in London on 26 May."

© UTV News
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