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Match Fitness

Good news for Ireland as Given nears return, Villa remain Keane on Robbie

Two key Ireland internationals will be hoping to get plenty of game time at Aston Villa over the coming months…

IRELAND GOALKEEPER SHAY Given is closing on a first-team comeback, according to Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish.

Speaking ahead of his team’s FA Cup clash against Bristol Rovers, the Scot said that the Donegal native would not be involved this weekend but could be involved against Everton in just over a week’s time.

The news will be welcomed by all in the Irish camp including boss Giovanni Trapattoni after Given suffered a hamstring injury early last month.

“Shay’s not far away and feels he could be ready pretty soon,” McLeish revealed (See Birmingham Mail).

“He was champing at the bit over the festive period because he wants to be involved but the medical department feel it’s a little early. He could have a chance of being ready for the Everton game.”

The Villa chief also spoke about the club’s interest in Ireland captain Robbie Keane, stating that the deal will be completed by Monday if it’s going to go ahead.

He concluded: “There is an opportunity maybe to get him (Keane) on loan for six or seven games. We are certainly pursuing it and, at the moment, both parties are keen. They (LA Galaxy) didn’t think it was too bad an idea or too big a risk.”

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