Giovanni Trapattoni at Gannon Park this week. INPHO/Donall Farmer
eastern promise

Forward thinking: Should Trap take the Long road or go with Simon Cox?

Reports from the Ireland camp suggest that the Ireland manager will go for the West Brom man ahead of Shane Long in the Euro qualifier. Is he right?

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI’S IRELAND side were today put through their paces at Gannon Park in Malahide ahead of their trip to Skopje.

The Boys in Green face Macedonia in a crucial  Group B showdown on Saturday evening. Ireland are tied on 10 points with Slovakia and Russia while this weekend’s hosts have four.

Captain Robbie Keane reportedly pulled up with a suspected hamstring strain and is now an injury worry; assistant manager Marco Tardelli indicated Keane wouldn’t play if the game was tomorrow, but he’ll be given every chance to make the line-up.

If the captain does make it, this is reportedly Trap’s preferred side: Given, Kelly, O’Shea, O’Dea, Kilbane, Hunt, Whelan, Andrews, McGeady, Cox, Keane.

The decision to choose West Brom striker Simon Cox ahead of the in-form Shane Long will cause plenty of debate.

Cox has impressed since his recent debut and successfully partnered Keane during the Carling Nations Cup. But should the Tipperary man be trusted to lead the line?

Who would you start against Macedonia this weekend?

Poll Results:

Shane Long (203)
Simon Cox (42)