Dunne to face Russia despite late scare over knee injury
RICHARD DUNNE is set to play through the pain barrier for Ireland tomorrow night after he was forced to have a scan on his recurring knee problem yesterday morning.
Luckily for Giovanni Trapattoni, it showed no significant damage so the Dubliner should train today with a view to taking a full part in tomorrow's Euro 2012 qualifier with Russia in the Aviva Stadium.
The Dubliner has sat out training for the last couple of days as a precautionary measure arising from the niggle that has affected him over the past month.
He missed two Aston Villa games during this period and only made his return to club football last weekend, in his side's 2-1 loss to Spurs.
Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli indicated that the 31-year-old was sent for a scan to appease his employers. "The doctor said it is okay," said Tardelli. "It is better to have a scan because it is correct for the club.
"I think that he will be in the next match. He plays always. Dunne is a very strong player, a very strong man."
Nevertheless, it will be concern for Trapattoni that his defensive leader is operating at less than full capacity. He will be tested fully by a Russian side with the attacking pace and power to give the Irish rearguard a difficult evening.
Dick Advocaat's side landed in Dublin last night after beginning their preparations for the game in Moscow. The Dutchman is contemplating making changes from the team that lost to Slovakia in September.
One possible switch is the introduction of talented midfielder Vladimir Bystrov. He could be introduced on the right side of midfield, with the Russians keen to test veteran Irish full-back Kevin Kilbane.
Trapattoni is expected to name the same XI that took six points from the opening two games against Armenia and Andorra.