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Keane to reach Ireland milestone in Argentina friendly

| 10.08.2010

Robbie Keane is preparing to win his 100th cap for the Republic of Ireland as they host Argentina for the first game at the new Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The Tottenham forward will join Shay Given, Kevin Kilbane and Steve Staunton in reaching the milestone as the Irish look to overcome odds of 7/2 to secure victory over the World Cup quarter finalists.

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, who has been hospitalised with suspected food poisoning, is in danger of missing the friendly, which is his last chance to view his squad in action before next month’s Euro 2012 qualifiers against Armenia and Andorra, where they are 11/4 to win Group B behind favourites Russia.

However, he will be without Aiden McGeady, who has been given the game off to sort out his domestic future as he bids to secure a move from Celtic to Spartak Moscow.

Meanwhile, Keane’s strike partner Kevin Doyle will require a late fitness test on a leg problem and influential defender Richard Dunne is struggling with a knee injury.

Argentina have called upon the majority of their World Cup stars in their first squad since Diego Maradona‘s 18-month reign as coach came to an end.

Sergio Batista has been named as the interim replacement in the Argentine hotseat and has the likes of Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain at his disposal as he looks to kick-off his tenure with a victory.

Argentina are 4/5 to secure the win, with Messi and Higuain the 9/2 joint favourites to bag the first goal.

With Carlos Tevez, Diego Milito and Sergio Aguero also in the squad there may be goals aplenty, although Ireland have only conceded more than a single goal in one of their last six games.

In comparison, Argentina’s 4-0 defeat to Germany in South African represents their only defeat in their last ten games.

Brazil beat Ireland 2-0 on their own patch in March and Argentina are 6/1 to match their South American counterparts.



Ed Needham