SHAY GIVEN has already joked that he'd like to "take out" Brad Guzan in Dublin tonight.
That's "take out" more in a Love/Hate style than a Downton Abbey manner, as Guzan is the man who has replaced Given as first-choice keeper at Aston Villa. And should Guzan pick up a knock in tonight's international friendly at Lansdowne Road, Given would get the nod from Paul Lambert to come into the side for their next test, against Southampton next Monday.
Guzan knows that Given's threat was in jest as the US keeper insists that the Lifford lad is a close pal.
"We were speaking a little bit before the camp, it will be an exciting time to see what the team sheet says but it will good to see him regardless," said Guzan ahead of tonight's game in Dublin.
"That's what goalkeeping is all about. You're fighting for playing time but our relationship has been very good, both on and off the pitch.
"For me, I've been very fortunate to work with him for so long. His resumé speaks for himself, what he's done, not only at club level but at international level. It speaks volumes for him as a professional."
A face-off between the two Villa keepers is just one of the mildly diverting subplots for a game which has failed to fire up the Irish public: a crowd of just under 40,000 paid to see the US play Mick McCarthy's Ireland side before the 2002 World Cup finals but less than half that attendance will be in place tonight.
Roy Keane will be on the opposing bench, Paul Lambert could well be in the crowd in Dublin (he was in Parkhead last Friday). But Guzan says his main aim tonight is to do well for his country and not to make a statement to his club boss.
"For me, if selected upon, it's another chance to hopefully impress Jurgen here with the national team.
"All the other stuff, you don't worry about too much, whoever is watching whether it is Paul Lambert or Roy or whoever."