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Are England coming to Dublin for a friendly next year?

If Ireland qualify for Euro 2012, it looks likely that a warm-up game against England will take place in Dublin in early 2012.

Image: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/Press Association Images

FABIO CAPELLO AND the English football team could be set to visit Dublin for a glamour friendly against the Republic of Ireland early next year.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s side all but guaranteed their place at next summer’s European Championships with a 4-0 win against Estonia in Tallinn on Friday, and the FAI have now started to examine potential opponents for warm-up games in early 2012.

If arranged, the meeting between the two neighbours would be the first since 1995 when a friendly had to abandoned after just 27 minutes because of crowd trouble caused by English hooligans.

Trapattoni confirmed yesterday that there have been tentative talks between the FA and the FAI over the past few years and said that he was hopeful that the necessary details could be ironed out.

“Maybe we already have this appointment,” Trapattoni said (see the Guardian).

We have spoken, for two years maybe. Two years we ask them but the diary was busy. Now I think England accept. We wait.

Next year’s European Championships take place from 8 June to 1 July in Poland and Ukraine. There is a slot available for an international friendly in the first week of June, between the completion of the English domestic season and the start of the tournament.

An Ireland-England friendly would be contingent, however, on the sides avoiding each other in the draw for the group stages of Euro 2012 which will be made on 2 December.

England’s only confirmed warm-up game to date is a rescheduled friendly against Holland at Wembley on 29 February. Again though, this game will only go ahead if the teams are not pitted against each other at Euro 2012 and should that happen, Ireland could step in as a replacement opponent.

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Niall Kelly

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