O'Shea pivotal to Trapattoni plans as St Ledger ruled out
Published 27/05/2011 | 05:00
GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI is praying that John O'Shea comes through tomorrow's Champions League final unscathed after Sean St Ledger was ruled out of next weekend's Euro 2012 qualifier in Macedonia.
The Preston man's unavailability through a long-term knee problem he sustained on Irish duty in March means that Trapattoni enters the game short of his two first-choice central defenders, with Richard Dunne suspended for the Skopje encounter.
Darren O'Dea, who deputised for St Ledger in the home win over Macedonia, returned to full training yesterday after recovering from an ankle injury and will get a chance to prove his well-being in Sunday's Carling Nations Cup meeting with Scotland.
Trapattoni plans to move O'Shea into the central defence for Macedonia to partner O'Dea, so he will nervously be watching events from Wembley. The Waterford man is expected to miss out on United's starting XI, but could well be involved at some stage.
"I hope that John O'Shea finishes the game without injury," said Trapattoni. "We have two or three injuries there. At the moment, I plan to play O'Dea in Macedonia because they have big players and he is experienced. If he shows us Friday that he is fit, then he can play against Scotland."