Keane missing for Serbia friendly

Robbie Keane will not feature in the game against Serbia

Robbie Keane will not feature in the game against Serbia

First published in National Sport News © by

Robbie Keane will sit out the Republic of Ireland's friendly with Serbia in Dublin on March 5.

Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has allowed striker Keane to miss the clash in favour of turning out for club side LA Galaxy in their first MLS game of the season three days later.

There is no place in O'Neill's provisional 29-man squad for goalkeeper Shay Given, nor midfielder Stephen Ireland.

Speculation had been rife that Given's successful loan spell with Middlesbrough would bring him back into O'Neill's squad.

But the 37-year-old has had to return to parent club Aston Villa, and has now received another blow by missing out on an international return.

"Our game against Serbia will provide us with great preparation ahead of the first of our European qualifiers in September," said O'Neill.

"I enjoyed working with the players in November for my first taste of international football, and am looking forward to assembling the squad once again in March."

Ireland provisional squad: D Forde (Millwall), D Randolph (Birmingham), R Elliot (Newcastle); R Keogh (Derby), M Wilson (Stoke), S Coleman (Everton), J O'Shea (Sunderland), A Pearce, S Kelly (both Reading), D Delaney (Ipswich), R Dunne (QPR); J McCarthy (Everton), C Clark (Aston Villa), S Ward (Brighton), G Whelan (Stoke), P Green (Leeds), A Reid (Notts Forest), A McGeady (Everton), A Pilkington (Norwich), J McClean (Wigan), S Quinn, D Meyler (both Hull), W Hoolahan (Norwich); S Long (Hull), D Murphy (Ipswich), J Walters (Stoke), K Doyle (QPR), A Stokes (Celtic), S Cox (Notts Forest).

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