GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI yesterday named a provisional 28-man squad ahead of Ireland’s friendly against England at Wembley on May 29 and the game against Georgia in Dublin on June 2.
Captain Robbie Keane has been named in the squad despite missing LA Galaxy’s last three games with an ankle injury.
Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington has also been been named in the squad and is in line to pick up his first cap for Ireland after being forced to withdraw from previous squads through injury.
However, Kevin Doyle, Richard Dunne and Ciaran Clark, who all have fitness concerns, have been left out of the 28-man squad.
The two friendlies will serve as preparation for Ireland’s crucial World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands at the Aviva Stadium on June 7.
Trapattoni and his players will then head for New York for a friendly against Spain at Yankee Stadium on June 11.
Speaking yesterday Trapattoni said: “We must consider the positives from our games against Sweden and Austria when preparing for these fixtures.
“We produced two strong performances and the players have proven that they are working very well together.
“I am very happy to have the squad together for these games, firstly to prepare for the Faroe Islands World Cup qualifier, and then for the challenges we have ahead of us in September.
“These matches will provide me with the opportunity to experiment with different players and tactics. I am looking forward to assembling the squad in London on 26 May.”
Ireland are in fourth place in their group and are level on point with Sweden and Austria. All three sides currently have eight points, half that of leaders Germany.
Republic of Ireland squad:
Goalkeepers: David Forde (Millwall), Keiren Westwood (Sunderland), Darren Randolph (Motherwell).
Defenders: John O’Shea (Sunderland), Sean St Ledger (Leicester City), Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Marc Wilson (Stoke City), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Stephen Kelly (Reading), Darren O’Dea (Toronto), Paul McShane (Hull City).
Midfielders: Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), James McCarthy (Wigan Athletic), Paul Green (Leeds United), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City), James McClean (Sunderland), Robbie Brady (Hull City), David Meyler (Hull City), Andy Keogh (Millwall).
Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (West Brom), Connor Sammon (Derby County), Jon Walters (Stoke City), Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City).