Saturday, 4 June 2011

Live Watch FYR Macedonia vs Republic of Ireland UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying Live Streaming Online – 4th June 2011

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The Republic of Ireland can keep up the pressure on Group B leaders Russia, with a convincing win over Macedonia on the weekend. The Irish are one of three teams on seven points after four games in the group, two points behind Russia. The Republic of Ireland’s early momentum was checked by a home defeat by Russia, in a close 3-2 match, and then they had to work hard to take a point away from their trip to Slovakia. Still, it has kept them in close touch with the top of the group, and they now need to take huge advantage of this home tie. Their opponents have lost two of their four matches played, but did push Russia all the way in the last round of matches, narrowly suffering a 1-0 defeat to the group favourites. The Republic of Ireland have shown once again that they know how to compete and are ready to give a thoroughly good account of themselves. Manager Giovanni Trapattoni will be without Newcastle striker Leon Best, who has had to withdraw become of an ankle injury, but Trapattoni once again has Robbie Keane to call upon. Although Keane has been out of action for some time (and who missed a potentially match winning penalty against Slovakia), and has only played a few minutes for West Ham recently, but the Republic of Ireland boss is ready to throw the experienced striker straight into action. Whether or not he will last the full ninety minutes or not is another matter, but Trapattoni wants experience going into this match at the Aviva Stadium. Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne remains hopeful of being able to get into the starting line up, and the Irish will need him there, as Manchester united’s John O’Shea won’t be able to take part, while team mate Darron Gibson will also likely miss out to injury as well. Perhaps the most notable absentee though is Shay Given, who won’t be able to line up between the sticks, so Kieren Westwood from Coventry will make his first competitive start for his country.

Republic wait on Keane news Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni is keeping his fingers crossed over skipper Robbie Keane after an injury scare ahead of Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier in Macedonia.

The striker sat out the final stages of a practice match during the squad's final training session in Malahide yesterday morning before their departure for Skopje.

Keane has been struggling with an Achilles problem for some time, and that will not have been helped by a kick on the ankle from defender Damien Delaney during the training exercise.

However, it was later revealed that the 30-year-old, who took his international goals tally to 49 with three in last week's two Carling Nations Cup matches, had suffered a groin strain stretching for a ball.

Keane is expected to train at the Philip II Stadium this evening, but assistant boss Marco Tardelli confirmed his injury is a worry.

Speaking immediately after the session, Tardelli said: "After 15 minutes, he stopped because he has a little problem with his groin. But we think he will be good for Macedonia. I think, I don't know.

"In this moment, we can say nothing. I hope Robbie Keane will be okay, but if the match was Saturday, then he wouldn't play." Trapattoni had himself been due to give an update on his players, but headed straight for the bus to leave his assistant to do the talking.

That was perhaps a reflection of how important Keane is to his team, although even with Wolves frontman Kevin Doyle injured, the Italian does at least have options.

West Brom striker Simon Cox, who scored on his debut against Northern Ireland last week, has impressed, while Reading's Shane Long has established himself as a genuine contender for a place in the starting line-up in recent months.

Long, of course, arrived in Dublin still coming to terms with his club's npower Championship play-off final defeat by Swansea on Monday.