English League 1

Season-ending injuries for duo

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Thu, 21 Mar 2013 16:52:00

Leeds midfielder Paul Green has been preferred to Wigan's James McCarthy for the Republic of Ireland's crucial World Cup qualifier in Sweden.

Green, whose presence in the side has not always attracted the universal approval of fans and pundits, will partner Stoke's Glenn Whelan in the centre of the field at Stockholm's Friends Arena.

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni's team was otherwise as hinted at in training sessions this week, although the Italian, in naming his line-up, admitted a doubt over Hull winger Robbie Brady.

Brady is not injured but Trapattoni wants to make sure he is mentally ready for the Group C encounter before finalising his side. Millwall goalkeeper David Forde will make his first competitive start while Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark will partner John O'Shea in central defence.

West Brom striker Shane Long was selected alongside captain and record goalscorer Robbie Keane up front.

Trapattoni feels 29-year-old Green will offer more balance to his side than the attack-minded McCarthy as he looks to utilise the forward threat of players such as right-back Seamus Coleman.

Trapattoni said: "The situation is - away team, away game. I wish Coleman to go (forward). When he goes, we need protection. This result is very important and it is important we play our game.

"I saw his (Green's) last game in England. He he played very well. It is important we have protection in midfield. McCarthy also played very well but I couldn't ask him to stay in this position."

Trapattoni also challenged Brady, 21, to prove he is fired up for the contest.

He said: "I spoke with him. I said, 'Are you sure, are you okay?' He said, 'Yes'. I wish to push him. I liked him against Poland.

"I said he must repeat this game. He promised me after the training (he would) and I will speak again with him. It is not a big problem, only psychological. I push him."

Ireland are third in Group C a point behind Sweden, who in turn trail leaders Germany by three points.

Republic of Ireland team to face Sweden in World Cup Group C qualifier at Friends Arena, Stockholm: Forde, Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Wilson, Brady, Green, Whelan, McClean, Keane, Long.

The 23-year-old Welshman has already been ruled out for the remainder of the current season but the operation has been declared a success.

Glen Driscoll, Liverpool's head of performance, told the club's official website on Thursday: "Joe Allen had surgery this morning, which went very well.

"It's going to be a relief for Joe that this has now happened for him. It has been quite a long-standing issue. He was repetitively subluxing, so his shoulder was coming out very easily and very often.

"It was a procedure that was very important. He should be fighting fit for the start of pre-season."

Allen has been troubled by the injury to his left shoulder since November last year, and he aggravated the problem in Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Southampton.

Pacesetter Villa Super 20 will wear Villa kit for their inaugural season in the Super 20 League, the premier league for players aged 17-20 in the US and Canada.

The link will allow Villa to scout the best young players in North America, and chief executive Paul Faulkner said on the club's website: "We're very happy to support Pacesetter Soccer Club and we wish Pacesetter Villa Super 20 every success when the season kicks off in May.

"The club already have strong links with the US, with Brad Guzan our current number one goalkeeper and Brad Friedel, among others, also having played an important role for us in recent times.

"We hope that an association such as this could pave the way for other American players to join Villa in the future."

Jimmy Walker, executive director of coaching at the Toledo club, added: "The partnership is an exciting opportunity for both Pacesetter Soccer Club and Aston Villa.

"Aston Villa are one of the top five teams in the history of the English Premier League and it is fantastic for the Ohio community and American Soccer that this link has been formed."

The Swede arrived at The Hawthorns last summer from Werder Bremen but has made only five starts in all competitions and is yet to score a goal for the Baggies.

The form of Shane Long and Romelu Lukaku has been the main barrier to Rosenberg, while Peter Odemwingie is also ahead of him in the pecking order despite his disciplinary issues.

Clarke told the club's official website: "Markus is very disappointed things haven't worked out for him so far. He hasn't had enough minutes on the pitch.

"Some of that can be my fault and he can be unhappy with me. He shouldn't be unhappy with himself. He trains every day, he's a consummate professional and he is well liked in the group.

"It's been a disappointing season for him. But there are still eight games to go and there is a little bit of me hoping in those eight games Markus gets the chance to play and shows everyone what he can do."

Defender Jean-Francois had been restricted to just one appearance for the Blades this season due to a long-standing knee problem that required surgery.

Teenage striker De Girolamo sustained his injury while playing for the Italy Under-18s against Austria earlier this month and has also gone under the knife.

Chesterfield-born De Girolamo, who has an Italian father, had been in contention for his first start for the Blades after making substitute appearances in home games against Colchester and Leyton Orient in February.

"Diego had his scan and underwent surgery straight away on a ruptured cruciate ligament," manager Danny Wilson told a press conference on Thursday.

"It will keep him sidelined for the long-term. We're certainly looking at a minimum of six months, which will mean he will miss the start of next season.

"The same goes for Lecsinel, who has had the same operation. During a scan it was discovered he had a ruptured cruciate, the same as Diego.

"It is a real blow for both lads and I can honestly say I am gutted for them.

"It isn't easy for anybody, but especially for a young lad who had all the excitement of the run-in in front of him.

"For Lecs, it just seems to be one thing after another, but as with Shaun (Miller), they will both have all our support and backing to get them back fit as soon as possible."

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