Sunderland defender John O’Shea and forward Emanuele Giaccherini were last night confirmed in their national squads for Euro 2016 – and could come up against each other in Group E in France.
Centre-back O’Shea is, as expected, in Martin O’Neill’s 23-man Republic of Ireland party, while Giaccherini, a success on a season-long loan with Bologna, is in Antonio Conte’s Italy squad.
Ireland face Sweden on June 13 and Belgium on June 18 before a potentially pivotal final sectional game against the Italians on June 22.
O’Shea is joined in the Irish squad by four former Sunderland players - keeper Keiren Westwood, midfielders James McClean and David Meyler and forward Daryl Murphy.
Ex-Newcastle keeper Shay Given, who had a successful loan at Sunderland in 1997, is included at the age of 40.
O’Shea did not figure in a much-changed Irish team which lost 2-1 to Belarus in Cork, with Stephen Ward grabbing the consolation goal.
Rep of Ireland Euro 2016 squad: Given, Randolph, Westwood; Christie, Clark, Coleman, Duffy, Keogh, O’Shea, Ward; Brady, Hendrick, Hoolahan, McCarthy, McClean, McGeady, Meyler, Quinn, Whelan; Keane, Long, Murphy, Walters