Trap's gamble: McGeady and Lawrence to start despite lack of game time
Published 02/09/2010 | 05:00
GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI will gamble on the fitness of Aiden McGeady and Liam Lawrence in tomorrow's Euro 2012 qualifier with Armenia -- even though neither has played any club football in this campaign.
In the sweltering heat of Yerevan, the duo are set to be deployed in the wide roles, the positions that are arguably the most physically demanding in the Irish manager's preferred system.
McGeady has been troubled by a slight ankle problem since joining Spartak Moscow, while Lawrence, who joined Portsmouth on Wednesday, has struggled with groin issues and is only a week back into full training. However, in the absence of Damien Duff, Trapattoni is set to go with this pair rather than the match-sharp -- but less internationally experienced -- Keith Fahey.
"I am confident about this," said the Irish boss, who landed in the Armenian capital with his team last night.
"I have seen before that many players not play in their teams, but they come with us and play well. I see them in training and they have the right mentality and enthusiasm. I'm not afraid about them having only played one hour or 30 minutes (a reference to others, such as Kevin Kilbane, Robbie Keane and Shay Given who are out of favour at their clubs)."
Trapattoni indicated that Paul Green will partner Glenn Whelan in midfield stating that he is '60pc' sure the Derby man will get the nod ahead of Darron Gibson.
Richard Dunne sat out training yesterday as a precaution, while Darren O'Dea (knee) was passed fit to travel.