Sunday 25 February 2018

Trap doubt but Messi is set to play

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI may be a doubt for the first international game at the new Aviva Stadium, but Argentina's Lionel Messi will be there, WRITES DANIEL McDONNELL.

The Ireland manager was kept overnight in the Mater Private Hospital after he was struck down by what doctors believed to be a bout of food poisoning in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Early today, he will discover if he is fit and well enough to take his place in the Ireland dugout for tonight's prestigious friendly against a star-studded Argentina side in Dublin 4.

Messi, the best player in the world, should figure at some stage after flying in from his commitments with Barcelona in Asia and taking part in training last night.

Despite his ill-health, Trapattoni did pick the Irish team for this encounter, with Derby's Paul Green set for the biggest occasion of his career after getting the nod in the centre of midfield ahead of Manchester United's Darron Gibson.

And a late injury to Liam Lawrence has worked out well for Keith Fahey, with the Birmingham star -- who was plying his trade with St Patrick's Athletic two years ago -- coming in on the right side of midfield to do battle against the South American footballing royalty.

Irish Independent

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