Wed, Oct 10, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Injury-hit Ireland call up Villa’s Clark

AFP and Reuters, DUBLIN and BERLIN

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni on Monday called up Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark to his injury-ravaged squad for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Germany and the Faroe Islands.

Central defensive partners Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger, midfielder Glenn Whelan and striker Kevin Doyle are out, as is young Sunderland winger James McClean.

The absentees at the back are likely to mean that former Manchester United defender John O’Shea will move to centerhalf for Friday’s match against the Germans in Dublin.

Darren O’Dea who plays his club soccer in Canada, is likely to partner him, while Fulham’s Stephen Kelly could replace O’Shea at full-back.

“We are missing five players but I am confident about the quality we have and two or three players have grown a little bit in personality,” Trapattoni said.

As well as Clark, Trapattoni has drafted in midfielders David Meyler of Sunderland and Robbie Brady of Manchester United. The pair have each played once for the Republic.

Germany, who have won only one of their last five encounters with Ireland, also have injury problems and will be without central defender Mats Hummels, midfielders Lars Bender and Ilkay Guendogan, while captain Philipp Lahm is suspended.

Germany, who had a 100 percent record in Euro 2012 qualifying with 10 victories in 10 games, want to maintain their fine run ahead of next Tuesday’s clash with Sweden.

“The target is qualification and we have a lot of work to do in these two games,” team manager Oliver Bierhoff said.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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