KEANE IN IRISH STARTING XI
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Irish skipper has been absent from Manchester United`s team for the last month with strained knee ligaments, but is prepared to risk further injury by facing Iran in the World Cup play-off.
Keane is still far from convinced that he is fit, commenting: "I am still not fully happy with it, I am just taking it one day at a time, some days it`s better than others.
"I will just see what happens after these games, we`ll see if there is any reaction and if there is I will go back to the specialist and take it from there."
It was initially thought that he would incur the wrath of club boss Sir Alex Ferguson, but it appears that the Scot has now given his skipper the blessing to face Iran at Lansdowne Road.
Eire boss Mick McCarthy has the rare luxury of a full squad to choose from and will pair Keane with Ipswich captain Matt Holland in the centre of the park, in preference to Charlton`s Mark Kinsella.
In his quest for goals, McCarthy has pitted together Leeds`s Robbie Keane with Sunderland target-man Niall Quinn, with Kevin Kilbane expected to provide the crosses from the wing.
Team: Shay Given, Steve Finnan, Gary Breen, Steve Staunton, Ian Harte, Jason McAteer, Roy Keane, Matt Holland, Kevin Kilbane, Niall Quinn, Robbie Keane.