Waiting and hoping
Will patience prove a virtue for David Stockdale?
Tonight the Blues keeper will once again hope to make his England debut as the Three Lions look to build on their impressive win against Spain when Sweden visit Wembley (7.45pm ko).
While Stockdale has had no choice but to play second fiddle to Joe Hart, the penultimate friendly before Fabio Capello names his Euro 2012 squad could actually be a last chance for the Ipswich man to impress in a match environment.
Capello confirmed yesterday that Hart will once again remain in goal but either Stockdale or rival Scott Carson will hope to get on during the second half.
But the 25-year-old, who is on a season-long loan at Portman Road from Premier League, Fulham, has arguably been knocked down to third choice by Carson, now at Turkish side Bursaspor.
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And he could actually be forced out of the squad altogether by a Canary – whether old or new. Championship rival Rob Green is one option while current Norwich custodian John Ruddy is being touted in some quarters.
It means that Stockdale’s chances of being named in his first major championships will probably hinge on his performances for Ipswich.
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Only bottom table Doncaster Rovers have conceded more than the Blues but Stockdale has ironically been one of Town’s better performers during an inconsistent season so far.
But in terms of club or country, Stockdale is under no illusions what comes first: “I am looking to improve as an Ipswich player, as a goalkeeper, as a person, while I am here. And if England comes about, so be it.”
Meanwhile, Keith Andrews will start for the Republic of Ireland in what should be a Euro 2012 play-off party against Estonia following Friday night’s 4-0 win.
Tamas Priskin will look to continue his good scoring form, on the international front, for Hungary in Poland while Josh Carson is with the Northern Irish U21s who take on Serbia in a European Championship qualifier.
Carlos Edwards should again start for Trinidad and Tobago in a dead rubber World Cup qualifer against Guyana, with sources close to the international team suggesting it could be the Town full-back’s last match for his country.