Lawrence and Whelan to miss Stoke opener?
Liam Lawrence and Glenn Whelan may miss the opening game of the season after being called up for the Irish international squad in a friendly against Australia.
In a typical example of poor international timing, the friendly against the Socceroos is being played on Wednesday 12th August just three days before the start of the Premier League season.
The good news is that the match is being played in Limerick rather than on the other side of the world but still could mean that they are unavailable for the Burnley match at the Brit the following Saturday if they both play the full 90 minutes.
Whilst the players will want to clock up as much time on the field to try and impress the Irish boss, Giovanni Trapattoni, ahead of Ireland's World Cup qualifiers, Tony Pulis will obviously be quietly hoping that neither is too involved in the friendly and that they don't pick up any injuries whilst on international duty.