Boys in Green boss Giovanni Trapattoni has hailed the experience of his captain and said that he is likely to replace Wes Hoolahan in the starting lineup against SwedenGiovanni Trapattoni has revealed that Robbie Keane is likely to return to his starting XI when Ireland face Sweden in September.
The 33-year-old, who is both Ireland's most-capped player and record goalscorer, was left out of the squad for the friendly against Wales and Norwich City playmaker Wes Hoolahan is set to start in his absence. However, Trapattoni stressed the importance of the LA Galaxy man's experience and suggested that he remained ahead of the Canaries midfielder in the pecking order.
"At the moment, no," Trapattoni told reporters. "Robbie scored a goal last week and Robbie has the experience. I have said many times that Robbie can play a little bit behind the striker.
"He's not Wes, but we also have this possibility. After the game, I can reflect on Sweden. They have [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, he is dangerous and behind their striker so we have to think very, very hard about what is best to do."
Hoolahan has been named in the team to face Wales, with Trapattoni opting for a 4-4-1-1 formation and the Italian tactician believes that it will be a game with a competitive edge to it.
"This is no friendly," said the Ireland boss. "I know this country. I was here many years ago with Italy, as was their scorer that night, [Craig] Bellamy.
"We won in Italy but we lost over here and we know about this team, I have seen so many games and I know the Welsh players, they have a good mentality and they are international players.
"After this game we can reflect, and we will know from our attitude and personality whether we are ready to play against Sweden."