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Trap to recall big guns for Argentina tie

GIOVANNI Trapattoni's squad to face Argentina at the Aviva Stadium in just over two weeks' time will have more of a familiar ring to it than the one which faced Paraguay and Algeria in friendlies in May.

With several of the regulars who missed Trapattoni's training camp in Malahide last May likely to return, the Irish boss faces some tough calls in picking his panel for the first international game at the renovated Lansdowne Road on August 11.

Derby's Paul Green will be included after making a strong impression, while Birmingham midfielder Keith Fahey's place is less certain as Darron Gibson and James McCarthy are available again.

Young Manchester City left-back Greg Cunningham did well against Algeria, but Trapattoni does have the option of drafting in Wolves' Stephen Ward, who has more experience yet was unable to attend the early-summer meeting due to injury.

Cillian Sheridan, who is on his way out of Celtic, was sprung from the bench in both games and impressed the Italian. He is vying with Leon Best, Shane Long, Andy Keogh and Caleb Folan for the role of back-up striker to Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle.

The Argentina game marks the return to proper business for Trap, and he will be encouraged by Shay Given's rapid recovery from the shoulder injury that threatened to mark him absent for September's opening European Championship qualifier in Armenia.

He should be present for the Argentina clash, although there is uncertainty about the identity of the opposition manager, with Diego Maradona locked in negotiations about his future.

Former Republic of Ireland U21 striker Billy Clarke could miss the whole of Blackpool's first Premier League campaign with a serious knee injury. The 22-year-old has been ruled out until April at the earliest after rupturing a cruciate ligament in pre-season.