Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Given and McGeady will be fit says Tardelli

Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli has played down injury concerns surrounding Shay Given and Aiden McGeady.

The Manchester City keeper and Celtic winger received treatment at their clubs on Monday ahead of Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria.

"I'm sure they will be available for the next training," said Tardelli.

Given has a shoulder problem while McGeady picked up a knock in Celtic's game against Dundee United on Sunday.

However, both players are expected to link up with the Republic squad on Tuesday.

Full-back Steve Finnan pulled out of the Irish squad last week because of a hamstring injury.

Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov will miss Saturday's World Cup qualifier because of an ankle injury.

The Manchester United forward sustained the injury during the 2-0 defeat by Fulham in the Premier League.

Ireland take on Group Eight leaders Italy in Bari four days after the Bulgaria game.

The Italians edge out Giovanni Trapattoni's team by goal difference with both teams locked on 10 points after four games.

The Football Association of Ireland are having to consider making new travel arrangements for the Republic squad's trip to Bari.

Airports in Ireland are expected to be affected by a nationwide strike on Monday - the day that the squad are scheduled to travel to Italy.

The possibility of travelling on Sunday or delaying the departure to Tuesday is being examined.

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