Thursday 26 April 2018

Crocked Given facing race against time to be fit for Ireland’s Euro campaign kick-off

Neil Ahern

SHAY GIVEN has emerged as a serious doubt for Ireland’s first European Championships qualifier against Armenia in September after he dislocated his shoulder in Manchester City’s 0-0 draw away to Arsenal on Saturday.

The Donegal man left the Emirates in a great deal of discomfort on Saturday after landing awkwardly while making a save and will definitely miss City’s last three league games of the season.

The injury is a major blow for the Abu Dhabi-owned club as they chase Tottenham Hotspur for fourth place in the league and a qualifying slot for next season’s Champions League – City are fifth and just a point behind Spurs.

“Shay’s injury will be a problem. It’s not good for us because Shay is a fantastic goalkeeper,” said manager Roberto Mancini. “He is important to us, but in football you can always get injured.

“Shay is in hospital, but we have 10 days and must play three big games,” he added.

And now doubts are emerging over Given’s fitness for Ireland’s first game of the European Championship qualification campaign for the 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

One thing that is for sure is that the 34 year-old will miss the upcoming friendlies against Paraguay and Algeria at the RDS next month, with second-choice Keiran Westwood likely to deputise.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s men travel to face Armenia on September 3 for the European Championship qualification opener, while four days later they host Andorra at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Trapattoni, meanwhile, will this morning announce a developmental squad for the May training camp, which will not feature senior players such as Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne and Kevin Doyle.

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