Republic of Ireland: Injury Concerns Mounting for Given, Defense

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 24:  Shay Given of Aston Villa reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers at Villa Park on April 24, 2012 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With the Euro 2012 competition only a few weeks away, the Republic of Ireland squad is facing a series of injury concerns going into their friendly match with Bosnia and Herzegovina in Dublin on Saturday.

The injury concerns for the squad include first choice keeper Shay Given and a trio of defenders that includes John O'Shea, Richard Dunne and Sean St. Ledger.

The most concerning of the four injuries is Given's, as his knee injury is starting to gain more attention from the press and it is a strong possibility he will not be in net on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium.

If the Aston Villa man can not go on Saturday, the man in net will be Keiren Westwood, who has eight caps for The Boys in Green during his career.

The back four may also look a lot different as O'Shea, Dunne and St. Ledger will not play in Saturday's friendly but the three should be back in time for the first game of the Euro 2012 in Poznan. Poland on June 10th against Croatia.  

As for the friendly coming up with Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday, manager Giovanni Trapattoni will see what his bench can do as Stephen Kelly will most likely start at right back for O'Shea.

At center back, with St. Ledger and Dunne out, look for Darren O'Dea to step in as well as Stephen Ward to move over from left back so that Kevin Foley can slide in at left back, the position Ward usually plays.

Trapattoni and all of the Republic of Ireland hope that this lineup is only temporary and that when June 10th comes around, all four of these veterans will be ready to line up against Croatia.