Ireland Team Boosted ahead of Clash with Bulgaria
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has been handed a double fitness boost ahead of his side's crucial World Cup qualifier with Bulgaria, local media reported.
Both Shay Given and Aidan McGeady are expected to be fit for the Republic of Ireland's Saturday clash with Bulgaria after initial concerns.
Defender Steve Finnan misses out because of a hamstring injury. Stephen Ireland has also been left out of the squad despite his good recent form.
The news comes days after it emerged that captain Dimitar Berbatov will certainly sit out international duty after suffering an ankle knock during Manchester United clash with Fulham.
The Bulgarians' new manager, Stanimir Stoilov, has been dealt a heavy blow since he can not bank on the experience of one more of his best footballers in the crucial forthcoming World Cup qualifier - Manchester City winger Martin Petrov, who is still recovering from a surgery. Manchester City striker Valeri Bojinov will also miss the match due to injury problems.
Bulgaria ranks third in Group Eight with three points from three matches. The team will be desperate to avoid defeat in Dublin to keep alive hopes of reaching the finals in South Africa.
Bulgaria is up against the Republic on 28 March and Cyprus four days later.
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