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Ireland's last stand

GIOVANNI Trapattoni and Ireland make a last stand for credibility and honour against Italy in the Municipal Stadium in Poznan tonight.

But it is now certain that if Trapattoni digs in his heels and tries to hang onto his job, Ireland will lose some or all of the most senior players, with Richard Dunne leading them into retirement.

Although Robbie Keane is still thought to be pondering his future, Dunne, Shay Given and Damien Duff have already indicated to Trapattoni that they will quit after Euro 2012.

Yet Trapattoni, rather than make the changes he promised after a humiliating defeat by Spain, has decided to give the old guard one more chance to redeem themselves and the manager.

"Against Italy we play for our honour and the honour of the nation with which has supported us all the way," said Trap.

"Obviously we do not want to go home with another defeat."