McShane worry for Republic

Defender struggling with ankle problem

McShane: Injury concern

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Republic of Ireland are sweating over the fitness of Paul McShane ahead of this weekend's World Cup qualifier with Bulgaria.

The Sunderland defender picked up an ankle injury in training on Wednesday and he was unable to take part in Thursday's session.

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni will give McShane until the last minute to prove his fitness with Sean St Ledger standing by to deputise in defence.

Shay Given, Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne and Caleb Folan all missed training on Wednesday but all are expected to be available for the trip to Sofia.

Meanwhile, Republic midfielder Glenn Whelan is keen to keep hold of his place in Trapattoni's side.

The Stoke midfielder has come out of international wilderness to become a regular under Trapattoni and he knows competition for places is fierce.

"Things have gone really well over the last 12 months and for me to be here and to stay around the Ireland team I need to keep improving and hopefully I can do that with games I can get," Whelan told Sky Sports News.

"We have got 24 players here fighting to get into the team, it is great for the competitiveness we have."