Byline: Michael SCULLY Chief Sports Writer
JOHN O'Shea is praying the back luck that has left Steve Staunton without seven players this week does not strike again before Ireland's emotional return to Stuttgart.
Staunton's Euro 2008 qualifiers preparations have been hit this week by the withdrawal of seven players through injury, which lessens the impact tonight's Ireland's friendly with Holland at Lansdowne Road will have.
But there are only three weeks to go to the European Championships opener against Germany on September 2 -and O'Shea wants front-line players such as Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne fighting fit for the vital challenge ahead.
Having, he says, watched in places "all over the world" in June as the Germans reached the semi-finals of the World Cup before bowing out to Italy in a cracking encounter, O'Shea is only too aware of the task ahead.