INPHO/Donall Farmer
# Green shoots
Trap names squad for Croatia friendly
Ireland manager has selected a 26-man panel for the visit of Croatia to Lansdowne Rd. Then it’s a couple of crunch Euro 2012 showdowns.

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI HAS named a 26-man squad for the friendly with Croatia next week (Wednesday, 10 August).

Liam Lawrence and Kevin Kilbane have been excused, according to the FAI, due to club commitments while John O’Shea, Aiden McGeady, Paul McShane and Kevin Foley are injured.

O’Shea picked up a hamstring strain in his first game for his new club, Sunderland, but is expected to be fit for next month’s crunch qualifier games.

“I intend to use the game against Croatia at Aviva Stadium next week to have the confirmation of a few options ahead of our September matches against Slovakia and Russia,” Trapattoni said today.

Ireland are currently joint top of the pool.

Kilbane has today joined Derby County on a six-month loan deal from Championship rivals Hull.

Ireland dropped two places in FIFA’s world rankings last week despite an impressive run of recent form.

The Boys in Green were drawn in a World Cup qualification group with  Germany, Sweden, Austria, Kazakhstan and Brian Kerr’s Faroe Islands on Saturday evening.

Ireland squad (v Croatia): Given, Westwood, Forde; Coleman, Kelly, Ward, Dunne, St Ledger, O’Dea, Delaney; Whelan, Gibson, Andrews, Fahey, Keogh, Duff, Hunt, McCarthy, Treacy, Wilson; Keane, Doyle, Walters, Long, Cox.

Check out this brilliant Marca front page celebrating Spain’s U19 success>

Joey Barton (still) speaking truth to power>