The duo alleviated previous concerns that they may miss Friday's crucial Group C Qualifier by taking a full part in Wednesday morning's session in MalahideRepublic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni faces a selection dilemma ahead of Friday’s crucial World Cup qualifier with Sweden after goalkeeper David Forde and Marc Wilson both declared themselves fit following Wednesday’s training session in Malahide.
The pair, who were previously deemed doubtful for the Group C clash, alleviated any concerns by taking part in the squad run-out at Gannon Park while Anthony Pilkington trained separately in the gym at the request of his club Norwich City.
Pilkington, who could make his debut on Friday, has been training with his new international teammates for the first time this week and yesterday it was revealed he has been considered as an option to start on the left wing in the absence of Aiden McGeady.
However, the decision on who will operate down that flank is not the only selection headache for Trapattoni ahead of Thursday’s starting XI announcement during the pre-game press conference. James McClean, Robbie Brady and Nottingham Forest striker Simon Cox are all also in contention while Jonathan Walters is expected to line-up on the opposite wing with Robbie Keane and Shane Long likely to lead the line.
The availability of Marc Wilson will be a major relief for the Italian tactician who was forced to call-up Greg Cunnigham as defensive cover after Joey O’Brien and Sean St Ledger were both forced to withdraw through injury.
Wilson has been utilised in midfield this season by Stoke City boss Mark Hughes and despite the 26-year-old admitting he prefers playing there, assistant manager Marco Tardelli insisted that there would be no such switch for Wilson in a green jersey.
Elsewhere, there is healthy competition for places in the centre of defence and for the number one jersey. Forde, who has secured the goalkeeping slot in recent games, missed last month’s friendly with Wales and counterpart Keiren Westwood has started the season strongly with Sunderland after Paulo di Canio put faith in the shot stopper.
Richard Dunne has returned to the panel and will vie with John O’Shea and Ciaran Clark for a starting berth. The veteran defender has enjoyed a return to fitness with new club QPR and said that he is raring to go should he be given the nod.
“It is great to be back in the squad and I am really looking forward to the games,” he told qpr.co.uk. “It has been a long time since I have played for Ireland so I am looking forward to it especially as it is two important games.”
Giovanni Trapattoni will name his starting XI on Thursday afternoon ahead of the squad’s final training session which will take place at the Aviva Stadium.