Camp set to face Serbia

23 March 2011 03:30

Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Lee Camp looks certain to make his Northern Ireland debut against Serbia on Friday after veteran Maik Taylor was ruled out of the trip to Belgrade.

Long-term number one Taylor has been primarily used on the bench for Birmingham this season but was still in the frame to retain the national jersey before a shoulder problem struck. He has now been replaced in the squad by Linfield's Alan Blayney for the Euro 2012 qualifiers in Serbia and four days later at home to Slovenia.

But it is former England Under-21 international Camp, who was named in his first Northern Ireland squad by boss Nigel Worthington last week after receiving FIFA clearance to be selected in February, who will be heavy favourite to start.

Inverness keeper Jonathan Tuffey, who started in the Carling Nations Cup defeat to Scotland, is the other goalkeeper in Worthington's 23-man squad.

Camp qualifies for Northern Ireland through his grandfather but initially opted to represent England, earning five Under-21 caps - including one against Italy in the first professional match at the revamped Wembley.

Taylor is the second player to pull out of the squad, with Rangers midfielder Steven Davis also missing out due to a knee complaint.

Friday's qualifier is due to take place in a near empty Crvena Zvezda Stadium after home fans were banned from the ground following riots when Serbia played in Italy in October.

Serbia were forced to forfeit the game due to the trouble and now only around 250 visiting fans who had pre-bought tickets will be in attendance for the Northern Ireland clash.

Source: PA