Doyle an injury doubt as Meyler receives call up
WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING:AS HE awaited firm news of Kevin Doyle’s fitness last night, Giovanni Trapattoni called Sunderland midfielder David Meyler into the Irish squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Germany and the Faroe Islands.
Doyle was scheduled to have a scan last night on the thigh problem he sustained during training with his club and the FAI had not given up hope that there might at least be the basis for having him join up with the squad over the course of next week.
With Wolves manager Stale Solbakken clearly inclined to keep the player at Molineux, however, Trapattoni seemed to be covering his bases.
“He is definitely out of the Blackburn game,” said the Norwegian coach, “and it looks now as if he will be out of the international games.”
The Italian was understandably less ready to jump to conclusions given the crucial role Doyle played in digging Ireland out of a decent sized hole in Astana last month.
It is far from clear whether the Wexfordman would start against the Germans with Trapattoni vague on how he will approach the game. But he is certainly a major contender to feature, if fit, after coming off the bench against Kazakhstan to inject considerable urgency into the team as well as scoring one goal and helping to create another.
For Meyler, the possibility of being involved will come as a major boost although he certainly did well enough against Oman to suggest that he is worth having around the place. The fact that he, rather than Robbie Brady, who was already on stand by with Richard Dunne, was called in might suggest that Trapattoni is leaning more towards the idea of starting with three central midfielders and sees the Corkman as potentially providing cover.
Dunne, meanwhile, looks to be no closer to a comeback for his club with manager Paul Lambert suggesting yesterday that the defender might still be weeks or even months away from playing first team football again due to a groin problem that continues to prove troublesome.
Joachim Loew has attracted some criticism for his decision to overlook experienced goalkeeper Rene Adler when he named his squad yesterday for the games against Ireland and Sweden.
The Hamburg player has returned to something approaching his best form in the early part of this season but Loew, as he so often does, has preferred youth over experience and so Ron-Robert Ziegler and Marc-Andre ter Stegen will again provide the back up to first choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
“We have taken note of Rene Adler’s performances and I’m happy that he has been playing so well recently after his injury problems,” said the German coach. “He has certainly not been written off, we will have another look before the 2014 World Cup to see what’s best for the squad,” Loew added, confident it seemed that his side will live up to their billing as the qualification group’s top seeds.
His squad is otherwise short on surprises with just one change from last month’s group: Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger returns, as expected, from injury at the expense of Julian Draxler.
“It was always clear that Bastian would be back in the team against Ireland and Sweden,” said Loew. “Last time, we did not include him so that he would have the chance to get back into a full training and match rhythm in piece.”
The 52 year-old was respectful towards the two group rivals to be faced over the coming 10 days without exactly seeming overawed by the threat either poses.
“We know what awaits us in Dublin,” he said. “The Irish will give everything to try and beat us in front of their own public.”
“Sweden,” he concluded, “are not just about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is a world class player, they also have team unity.”
The FAI says that general admission tickets for the Germany game are now sold out but that season tickets, which would include admission to this match and premium level seats are still available.