Keane out of Italy clash

Republic striker sidelined for friendly with groin injury

Keane: Republic captain ruled out of Italy friendly with groin injury

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Robbie Keane will miss Republic of Ireland's friendly with Italy due to a groin injury.

The Republic skipper, who passed the 50-goal mark for his country with both goals in the weekend win over Macedonia, has dropped out of the squad with a groin problem.

Goalkeeper Shay Given and Kevin Kilbane have been excused from the squad for a coaching course, while Keith Fahey has dropped out with a swollen knee, and John O'Shea will not be involved either with his wife due to give birth imminently.

Aiden McGeady has also pulled out of the squad after being recalled by his club Spartak Moscow.

A Football Association of Ireland spokesman said: "Aiden McGeady has been given permission by Giovanni Trapattoni to leave the squad after his club were in contact to request if he could be released ahead of forthcoming club games."

Shane Long and Andy Keogh are set to lead the Republic of Ireland attack against the Italians in the absence of Keane with Simon Cox also set to be rested.

Centre-back Sean St Ledger could start at the back after just missing out in Macedonia.