Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni will have to make do without injured players Damien Duff, Darren Gibson and Steven Reid ahead of the crunch Group World Cup qualifier against Italy on Saturday in Croke Park.

Fulham’s Damien Duff had been struggling with a calf injury, and though the knock is not as serious as first thought, the Italy game comes too soon for one of Ireland’s most skillful players.

Manchester United midfielder Darren Gibson, who has only started one game for the Reds in the League Cup this season, has pulled out of the squad with a groin injury, while one of Ireland's most skillful and injury-plagued midfielders, Steven Reid, has been jinxed again.

After battling his way back to fitness after missing almost all of last season, Reid picked up an knock on his Achilles in one of his first games back that has ruled him out.

The Italian has drafted in Martin Rowlands of QPR as cover in the squad.