Tuesday 19 September 2017

James McClean among seven with chance to state case as Trapattoni to visit Britannia Stadium

James McClean will get his chance to impress the Ireland manager who will attend this weekend's Premier League meeting of Stoke and Sunderland
James McClean will get his chance to impress the Ireland manager who will attend this weekend's Premier League meeting of Stoke and Sunderland
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI Trapattoni will continue with his fresh approach to scouting players by travelling to see this weekend's Premier League meeting of Stoke and Sunderland.

The Ireland manager's decision to visit the Britannia Stadium will be of most interest to Sunderland winger James McClean, who was not called into the squad for last week's trip to the Faroe Islands despite recovering from the setback that ruled him out of the thrashing at the hands of Germany.

Trapattoni (right) came close to losing his job last week, and the FAI have instructed their €1.3m-a-year manager to attend matches in England on a more regular basis.

The Italian responded by watching Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington play their part in Norwich's win over Arsenal last weekend.

The clash of Stoke and Sunderland could feature seven potential members of the squad for next month's friendly with Greece.

Home boss Tony Pulis will start with Marc Wilson and Jonathan Walters, who both impressed in the comfortable win over the Faroes, while Glenn Whelan will be involved if he shakes off a hamstring problem.

John O'Shea and McClean are regular starters for the Black Cats, while midfielder David Meyler -- who has broken into Trapattoni's plans in recent months -- could be brought off the bench at some stage.

Ireland's first-choice goalkeeper Keiren Westwood needs Martin O'Neill's choice, Simon Mignolet, to suffer misfortune before he gets an opportunity at club level.

McClean and Wilson will be particularly keen to prove a point with a view to the Greek encounter.

Both have had their difficulties with Trapattoni in the course of their short international careers. Wilson was belatedly called into the starting XI for the Faroes game and his second-half goal in tandem with a solid display justified his selection.

McClean used Twitter to vent his frustration at the Irish manager after the September win over Kazakhstan, although Sunderland fans are waiting for the Derry lad to recapture the heights of last year now that opposition defenders are familiar with his strengths.

Trapattoni is scheduled to name his squad for the Greek friendly at the beginning of next week.

Irish Independent

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