Robbie Keane missed Republic of Ireland squad training at Malahide’s Gannon Park on Wednesday with an Achilles injury.
The 32 year-old sat out the morning training session following a tackle from Paul McShane on Tuesday. Keane is in line to win his 122nd cap and captain the Irish side on Friday night. He is, should he be confirmed fit, also likely to lead the line up front on his own.
Irish assistant manager Marco Tardelli has stated that Keane’s fitness is not an issue, but he was not fit enough to train on Wednesday. His long haul trans-Atlantic flight on Monday will not have helped his fitness either.
Returning midfielder Keith Andrews (he was suspended for the clash with Kazakhstan having been red carded against Italy at Euro 2012) missed the end of Irish training on Wednesday. Tardelli confirmed however that the Bolton man had taken part in the earlier tactical work but that the Dubliner had asked to be rested for the game which concluded Wednesday’s training session.
Keane’s fitness is the more worrying for Irish management however. He netted his 54th senior international goal in Astana last month (to make him Europe’s fourth all-time leading international goalscorer) and has netted 13 times from 18 starts since the end of Euro 2012. To attain some sort of a result against the Germans, it is almost certain that the Irish will need to score at least once and Keane is by some distance the most likely source of a goal, with the remainder of the likely Irish starting XI having scored 12 goals between them.
Tardelli meanwhile insisted that while Ireland are likely to play with a lone striker on Friday night, there will be two strikers on the pitch, though one “may play out wide.”
This update effectively confirms that Trapattoni will select what he calls a 4-3-3 formation (though is in reality 4-5-1), with the Irish hoping to flood the wide areas in a bid to stunt Germany’s attacking talent on the flanks.