Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Kevin Foley was a surprise exclusion from Ireland’s 23-man Euro 2012 squad named by manager Giovanni Trapattoni on Tuesday.
The defender failed to convince the Italian that he had fully recovered from a hamstring injury, despite returning to training last weekend.
With John O’Shea, Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger and Darren O’Dea all carrying knocks, Trapattoni was apparantely unwilling to gamble on Foley’s fitness. Hull City stopper Paul McShane has taken his place in the squad.
Former Derby midfielder Paul Green retains his place in the 23 after replacing the injured Keith Fahey in the squad for Saturday’s friendly with Bosnia, while record cap-holder Shay Given is also named despite being Ireland’s main injury worry ahead of the tournament.
That means there is no place for Everton’s Seamus Coleman, Millwall’s Andy Keogh or Motherwell’s Darren Randolph, all of whom failed to earn promotion from the standby list and will stay at home alongside Foley, Fahey and Wigan starlet James McCarthy, who was forced to withdraw several weeks ago for family reasons.
The Republic will play in Group C, where they will face Spain, Italy and Croatia. They are 4/1 to qualify for the quarter finals but they are 4/5 to finish bottom of the pile.
Punters using their free £25 bet for registering with bwin to back Ireland to qualify for the quarter-finals would win £125 if successful.
But the immediate focus for Trapattoni and his chosen men will be preparing for their final pre-Euro 2012 friendly, which takes place in Budapest against Hungary, on June 4th.
Ireland squad for Euro 2012:
Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Aston Villa), Keiren Westwood (Sunderland), David Forde (Millwall).
Defenders: John O’Shea (Sunderland), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Stephen Ward (Wolves), Sean St Ledger (Leicester City), Darren O’Dea (Celtic), Stephen Kelly (Fulham), Paul McShane (Hull City).
Midfielders: Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Keith Andrews (West Brom), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Darron Gibson (Everton), Paul Green (unattached), Damien Duff (Fulham), Stephen Hunt (Wolves), James McClean (Sunderland).
Strikers: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Shane Long (West Brom), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City), Simon Cox (West Brom).
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Euro 2012 odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting