Soccer Digest: Hobbled Ireland face tough Germany in World Cup qualifier
Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni will refuse to use his injury nightmare as an excuse ahead of Friday’s big World Cup qualifier against Germany at the Aviva Stadium.
Glenn Whelan, Richard Dunne, Kevin Doyle, Sean St. Ledger and James McClean are all out of the Dublin fixture thanks to injury.
Trap has called in Manchester United youngster Robbie Brady, Sunderland midfielder David Meyler and Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark ahead of the game.
Trapattoni said, “We are missing five players, but I am confident about the quality we have, and two or three players have grown a little bit in personality.
“I am optimistic because I know the German players, I know their attitude, their quality, but we also have a little bit of that quality and discipline. I am confident about this.”
Whelan, St. Ledger and McClean were all ruled out on Monday, although McClean could return to the squad ahead of Tuesday’s trip to play the Faroe Islands in Torshavn.
Trapattoni said, “Glenn is a big loss to us because nobody else really plays in his exact position.
“We have Keith Andrews, we have also James McCarthy and Keith Fahey, but they are a little bit different.
“McCarthy is fast, David Meyler is tall, which could be important against this opponent and Keith Fahey is also good technically. They have different qualities.
“It's the start of the season and we have fresh energy. It's not March or April, the players are fresh.
“In spring, it usually goes down, but now we have energy. I have said to the players we must give 100 percent energy. Only with this can we confront Germany.”
Trapattoni has hinted that he will play a 4-3-3 formation against the Germans, with Robbie Keane flanked by Aiden McGeady and Jonathon Walters or Simon Cox upfront.
James McCarthy, Keith Andrews and Keith Fahey are likely to make up the Irish midfield on Friday night.
Trap said, “Sure Robbie will start, we need his personality. Another is McGeady and we also have Walters and Cox. We need them to keep the ball.
“They can play on the wing but Long is only a striker. He is fast and strong but it is better if we use him off the bench and the changes will be very important in this game.
“Kevin Doyle is a fantastic example. He was on the bench in Kazakhstan but he scored a goal. An intelligent player can wait for their moment. The manager has no sons. I just wish to win like you and the rest of the country.”
Celtic Beats Hearts
GEORGIOS Samaras scored the only goal as Celtic beat Hearts 1-0 on Sunday to maintain their position at the top of the Scottish Premier Division table.
Manager Neil Lennon was delighted with the win, just days after his team’s impressive Champions League victory away to Spartak Moscow.
“The players have put in a massive effort this week and you could see that fatigue was starting to kick in a bit towards the end,” Lennon said.
“Having to use a substitute early for Charlie Mulgrew wasn’t the way we wanted things to go because we knew that later on in the game fatigue would set in.
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