Ireland news

Best misses Ireland trip to Tallinn

November 7, 2011

Newcastle striker Leon Best will miss the first leg of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia as he awaits the birth of his first child.

Leon Best celeb
PA PhotosLeon Best: Expectant father

The 25-year-old was a major doubt for Friday's game anyway after suffering groin and toe injuries during Saturday's Premier League win over Everton.

However, manager Alan Pardew also revealed after the game that his wife was due to give birth imminently, and it is understood he will remain on Tyneside before joining up with the rest of the squad on Saturday.

Trapattoni has not given up hope of having defender John O'Shea available for the second leg.

The Sunderland full-back has been ruled out of the first game in Tallinn on Friday night, but Trapattoni is hoping he could be fit for the return in Dublin on Tuesday week.

Trapattoni said: "We will wait for John O'Shea. He is not fit for this [the first] game, but he will come with us on Saturday.''

International boss Giovanni Trapattoni had earlier revealed his medical team were awaiting news of scans on the player's groin problem before making a decision on him.

Best's absence, coupled with those of the suspended Kevin Doyle and the injured Shane Long, has left Jonathan Walters and Simon Cox to battle it out for the task of partnering skipper Robbie Keane in Tallinn with Trapattoni hinting that the Stoke man could get the nod.