Keane doubtful for Ireland

Veteran striker Robbie Keane is a major injury concern for Republic of Ireland ahead of their decisive Euro 2012 qualifier against Armenia on Tuesday, as the forward has an adductor muscle strain.

The LA Galaxy attacker picked up the knock in the Emerald Isle’s 2-0 win over Andorra on Friday, and is now seemingly set to miss Tuesday night’s fixture.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s men sit a point ahead of Armenia in Group B, and can secure a playoff place with a draw at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland’s chances of automatic promotion are still alive, but would depend on group leaders Russia slipping up against Andorra, which seems unlikely.

Shane Long, Simon Cox and Jonathan Walters all wait in the wings to deputise should Keane not make the cut.

“Robbie has a little problem, but we are hopeful he will recover. It will be very difficult, but we are hopeful,” assistant manager Marco Tardelli told Sky Sports.

“It’s the same problem he had after the last match in Los Angeles. On Saturday, he had a scan and he has a little problem – a big problem, not a little problem.

“We have many options. We have Walters, Long, Cox – we have many options. We are confident in all our players. We have different solutions, but we will wait and see,” the Italian concluded.

By Gareth McKnight