Season-ending injuries for duo

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


“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


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


“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.”