Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has demonstrated his confidence in the squad that have got his side's FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign off to a solid start for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against his native Italy.

The veteran manager, who celebrates his 70th birthday tomorrow, named a squad of 26 for the European zone group eight games with Bulgaria on 28 March and Italy four days later. Uncapped defender Darren O'Dea, who scored for Celtic in their Scottish League Cup final win over Rangers on Sunday, was the only addition to the squad selected for last month's 2-1 victory against Georgia.

The Republic are currently second in group eight, having played one game fewer than leaders Italy in their quest to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa.


Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Manchester City/ENG), Dean Kiely (West Brom/ENG), Kieren Westwood (Coventry/ENG);

Defenders: Alex Bruce (Ipswich/ENG), Damien Delaney (QPR/ENG), John O'Shea (Manchester United/ENG), Kevin Foley (Wolves/ENG), Paul McShane (Sunderland/ENG), Richard Dunne (Manchester City/ENG), Stephen Kelly (Birmingham/ENG), Steve Finnan (Espanyol/ESP), Kevin Kilbane (Hull/ENG), Darren O'Dea (Celtic/SCO)

Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Celtic/SCO), Damien Duff (Newcastle/ENG), Darron Gibson (Manchester United/ENG), Glenn Whelan (Stoke/ENG), Keith Andrews (Blackburn/ENG), Liam Miller (QPR/ENG), Stephen Hunt (Reading/ENG), Andy Keogh (Wolves/ENG)

Strikers: Caleb Folan (Hull/ENG), Kevin Doyle (Reading/ENG), Robbie Keane (Tottenham/ENG), Shane Long (Reading/ENG), Noel Hunt (Reading/ENG)