Soccer Scene

Preview: Republic of Ireland - Serbia
Friendly
24.05.2008 at 19:45 - Croke Park

Giovanni Trapattoni takes charge of Republic of Ireland for the first time as they welcome Serbia to Croke Park.

The Irish failed to qualify for Euro 2008 this summer and will be looking to their new Italian coach to inject some much-needed confidence into the side ahead of the autumn World Cup qualifiers.

The Irish have not won an international of any kind since August 2007, drawing four and losing two of their last six outings.

Their opponents will also be absent from the upcoming European Championship, but only narrowly missed out on qualification after finishing third in their group behind Poland and Portugal.

The Irish have recently returned from a training camp in Portugal, where they were able to pick up a morale-boosting 3-1 win against Lagos.

Tottenham's Robbie Keane and Manchester City's Richard Dunne were excused from making the trip, but are expected to be thrown straight into Trapattoni's squad on Saturday night.

Celtic pair Aiden McGeady and Darren O'Dea and Manchester United defender John O'Shea were also granted leave in order to compete in SPL fixtures and the UEFA Champions League final respectively, but are once again set to feature at Croke Park.
Understanding

Trapattoni is delighted to have a virtually full-strength squad available to him and has made the late arrivals aware of what is expected.

"We have welcomed back Richard and Robbie. I have spoken to them and I have clarified a little bit what we did last week in Portugal," he said.

"They understand what I am looking for in our system, and I think they can play on Saturday.

"We played five minutes with that system and they are happy, and that's important with more difficult opponents."

Doubts

Shane Long, Wes Hoolahan and Daryl Murphy have all shaken off knocks picked up in Portugal and should be in contention, but Darren Potter remains a doubt with a heel problem.

Martin Rowlands, who picked up an ankle injury on the tour, has been forced to pull out of the squad, while Crystal Palace's 17-year-old forward Sean Scannell will hope to be handed his senior debut at some stage.

Serbia have brought a strong squad to Ireland, with Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic among them.

Valencia's lofty target-man Nikola Zigic will provide a handful to the Irish defence, while Internazionale's Dejan Stankovic will be on a high after clinching a third consecutive Serie A title on Sunday.

The game represents Serbia's first of three in a seven-d



History


H / A / N Matches W D L Goals + / -
H 3 0 1 2 2 - 4 -2
A 2 0 2 0 2 - 2 +0
N 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 +0
Total 5 0 3 2 4 - 6 -2


Date&time Comp. H / A / N Final score
05.09.2017 at 19:45 World Cup Qualifier H 0 - 1
05.09.2016 at 20:45 World Cup Qualifier A 2 - 2
05.03.2014 at 19:45 Friendly H 1 - 2
15.08.2012 at 19:45 Friendly A 0 - 0
24.05.2008 at 19:45 Friendly H 1 - 1
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