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Thursday 23 November 2017

Tardelli fever forces Trap into the spotlight

Ireland assistant boss Marco Tardelli (pictured right) was again absent from training yesterday as he has been struck down by fever.

In his absence, Giovanni Trapattoni was forced to fulfil media duties for the second day in succession, which is a break from the norm, and he was clearly keen to get away when discussion turned to matters of team selection.

Trapattoni may have his preferred XI in mind, but he doesn't want the players to know.

However, he tends to give plenty away in discussion when asked specific questions, a contrast from Tardelli who generally keeps his answers brief and invariably reverts to "you have to ask the manager that" on team selection matters.

Trap will be hoping Tardelli has made a full recovery in time for today.

Ireland pencilled in for

Wales summer friendly

It seems a particularly long way off given the drama that could unfold if this double-header doesn't go to plan, but the FAI confirmed yesterday that Ireland will play Wales in a friendly at the Cardiff City Stadium on August 14.

Ireland's last trip to Wales was for a dead rubber Euro 2008 qualifier in November 2007.

Steve Staunton had been sacked a month earlier, and Don Givens took the reins for a game that ended in a 2-2 draw.

Number of the day

138 International appearances made by Swedish midfielder Anders Svensson, with the Elfsborg man still going strong. Ireland skipper Robbie Keane will win his 123rd cap on Friday evening.

Drogs bang drum for clash with Trabzonspor

With most of the Irish football media in Malahide yesterday, Drogheda United seized the opportunity to hold a press conference to promote their unique friendly with Turkish Super League side Trabzonspor in Tallaght Stadium this Thursday.

The game will be broadcast live in Turkey as part of Setanta's expansion into that part of the world, and Turkish Airlines have come in as sponsors.

The Turkish embassy in Dublin have thrown their weight behind the project, viewing it as an opportunity to build trade relations between the countries.

One hundred Trabzonspor fans will travel from Turkey – visa issues affected that number – while a couple of hundred others are expected to make their way from around Europe.

Kick-off in Tallaght Stadium is at 7.30.

Irish Independent

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