Cox to partner Keane
Baggies striker expected to start against Spain
Last Updated: June 14, 2012 12:04pm
Sky Sports understands that Giovanni Trapattoni will name Simon Cox alongside Robbie Keane when the Republic of Ireland face Spain.
Ireland are due to take in their second fixture of Euro 2012 on Thursday and know they have to take something from the game.
A 3-1 defeat to Croatia in their European Championship opener has left them with it all to do in Group C.
Reigning European and world champions Spain will provide another sizeable test, and they too are looking to establish momentum after being held 1-1 by Italy on Saturday.
Trapattoni is keeping his cards close to his chest ahead of the game, with the Italian having decided against revealing the identity of his starting XI.
It is expected that he will make changes, with Kevin Doyle likely to be the man to drop out.
West Brom striker Cox, who came off the bench against Croatia, is understood to be ready to step in and partner national skipper Keane up front.
Keane is aware that whoever starts against Spain will need to be on top of their game if Ireland are to get a positive result, but he insists there is no fear inside the camp.
"We know it's going to be a tough game, there is no question about it," he said.
"We are playing against the best team in the world, with the best players in the world. It's going to be tough and we are not naïve enough to think it's going to be easy.
"We have to keep doing what we have been doing in the last few years, since the manager took over, keep that commitment, desire and heart that the Irish players have.
"As captain, and as an individual, there is no chance that I go into any game thinking I am going to get beaten by anybody.
"Whether they are superior to us, we have to believe that we have every chance. It's 11 against 11 in 90 minutes.
"We have played against the biggest teams in the last few years - France, Italy - and we've beaten them or drawn against them.
"It's going to be a massive game, we know that, and we need to get points sooner rather than later on the board."