Robbie Keane issues World Cup battlecry ahead of Swedish test in Dublin
Richard Dunne and James McClean back in Trapattoni’s team
Robbie Keane has urged Ireland to go for the jugular against World Cup rivals Sweden in Dublin on Friday night.
The Irish captain, currently in top form at the LA Galaxy in the MLS, has also claimed that it is more important not to lose than to win against the Swedes.
But he insists that Ireland will go for all three points as they look to break away from Sweden and Austria in a tie for second spot behind Germany in the Group C table.
Keane, part of an Ireland team that includes the recalled Richard Dunne and James McClean, told reporters at the pre-match press conference that it is impossible for any Irish side to play for a draw.
He said: “It’s a game we certainly can’t afford to lose, there’s no doubt about that.People talk about going in and trying to get a draw; it’s very hard for any player to go in and try to get a draw. You go in and try to get the three points.
“It depends on the situation, the circumstances of when you are playing but we’ll be going into the game to try and get the three points but the most important thing is certainly not to lose the game.
“The two teams are in a similar situation. It’s all ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ but if it’s 0-0 with 25 minutes[to play we’ll be going for three points.
“But we’re not going into the game being negative. We’ve been playing the same way for a long time and we go to win every game and that will be the case on Friday.”
Dunne starts a competitive match for the first time since the Euro 2012 finals with manager Giovanni Trapattoni looking for the big defender to negate the threat posed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the Aviva.
Keane warned the Swedish superstar: “Any player that plays against Richard Dunne knows he’s in for a tough night.
“He’s a massive presence, he’s my mate and I know how frustrating it has been for him. It’s such a long to be out, since the Euros, basically.
“I know how excited he is to be back in the fold and he’s desperate to play in a competitive game.
e’s had a good start with QPR so he feels fit and sharp. He’s a massive player for us and he has presence when he plays with us.”
Trapattoni will partner Dunne with John O’Shea against the Swedes and has no worries about the player he once described as a ‘wardrobe’.
Trap told the Dublin press conference: “We had to think a lot about him because of his injury. Also, he was without a club. I said I will follow him because it’s important that he stays fit. I saw him playing well in a QPR game.”
Wigan midfielder McClean comes in for the injured Aiden McGeady on the wing with newcomer Anthony Pilkington on the bench.
Goalkeeper David Forde returns after knee surgery while Stoke left-back Marc Wilson has passed a fitness test and starts.
Ireland team v Sweden: Forde, Coleman, Dunne, O'Shea, Wilson, Walters, McCarthy, Whelan, McClean, Keane (c), Long
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