Monday 23 October 2017

Trap checks out McClean as impressive Black Cat gets the green light

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

THERE won't be many surprises when Giovanni Trapattoni names his squad in Waterford this morning, but there is expected to be at least one new face after James McClean received the green light needed to be called up to the squad for the friendly against the Czech Republic later this month.

While he has stated his intention to stick with his tried and tested ahead of Euro 2012, the Sunderland winger's form since his elevation to the Black Cats' first team by Martin O'Neill has been too hard to ignore for the Italian, who sent assistant Marco Tardelli to the Riverside Stadium to watch the Derry native in action on Wednesday night.

McClean needed UEFA clearance in order to change allegiances after representing Northern Ireland at U-21 level, but after gaining that clearance yesterday, the 22-year-old is set to be the sole new face in the squad for the February 29 fixture that represents the last chance for impressing ahead of Euro 2012.

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Elsewhere, Trapattoni looks set to recall Kevin Foley to the squad that defeated Estonia in November to qualify for the Euros. Otherwise, the panel should remain the same.

Although he may be named, Aiden McGeady's ankle injury could keep him out of the friendly. He was forced to return to Russia after undergoing an MRI scan during Spartak Moscow's pre-season visit to Spain. With the Russian Premier League set to resume on March 4, Spartak may not be keen for McGeady to travel to Ireland for a friendly five days before kick-off.

Leon Best definitely won't be involved and he could miss the rest of the season according to his manager Alan Pardew.

Robbie Keane will be in, but he will have just two more Premier League games to play after LA Galaxy turned down Aston Villa's request to extend his loan deal by a week as the striker is wanted back in time for the start of the MLS season on March 10.

Irish Independent

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