Best on guard for Irish chance

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Leon Best is aiming to be Republic of Ireland's World Cup superhero after earning his 'Zorro' nickname this season at Coventry.

The 22-year-old striker is set to be given his chance in the friendly against Nigeria on Friday as Kevin Doyle and Caleb Folan are out injured.

Best's goalscoring exploits wearing a mask for a broken cheekbone earlier in the season led to his nickname and he said: "It's good that you can turn a broken cheekbone into a positive thing. I'd love to be a superhero for Ireland now."

He added: "I'm just delighted to be playing with the likes of Robbie Keane and learn off players like that."

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni is expected to field some of his inexperienced players at Craven Cottage against Nigeria, with senior squad members only set for a half at most.

Keiren Westwood, Eddie Nolan and Sean St Ledger are in the frame for debuts along with Best, who is determined to seize his opportunity.

"This season has been up and down for me," Best said. "I had a good spell in the cup and the period when I had the mask on.

"Towards the end it was upsetting with injuries. So for me to get called up is something I see as a blessing and I'm over the moon with it.

"The only thing I can do is take it in my stride. I can't think about it too much because it's the highest level and nerves would kick in. Hopefully everything will go my way."

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Robbie Keane
Leon Best
Caleb Folan
Sean St Ledger
Kevin Doyle
Eddie Nolan
Coventry City

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