Martin O’Neill hopes Robbie Keane and James McCarthy will be fit for opener

Republic of Ireland's Robbie Keane
Republic of Ireland's Robbie Keane

Martin O’Neill is hopeful of having Robbie Keane and James McCarthy available to him for the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 opener against Sweden.

Both men were selected in O’Neill’s final 23-man squad despite carrying injuries – in Keane’s case a calf problem and in McCarthy’s a hamstring strain – and neither played in the warm-up games against the Netherlands and Belarus before the squad arrived in France on Wednesday.

However, both took part in training at the Stade de Montbauron in Versailles on Thursday and the manager is keeping his fingers crossed that he will have the option of selecting the pair as Group E gets under way on Monday.

O’Neill told FAI TV: “Fingers crossed. It’s looking more positive, let’s say, than about six or seven days ago.

“Robbie himself said that he’s a quick healer – he’s doing fine at the moment – and I think there’s been very little reaction to the training that James has done., so that’s a very good sign.”

Jonathan Walters remains the only significant injury doubt and with the players having been given a rest day on Thursday.