Andrews injury opens Ireland door for Green
KEITH ANDREWS is out of Ireland's opening Euro 2012 qualifiers with Armenia and Andorra after failing to recover from a groin problem.
The midfielder's absence means it is likely that Derby midfielder Paul Green will make his competitive debut in Yerevan next Friday.
Andrews is Giovanni Trapattoni's preferred midfield option to partner Glenn Whelan, but his start to the season has been curtailed by this difficulty and he will remain in Lancashire for further treatment.
Trapattoni does have other options for a midfield role, with Darron Gibson top of the alternatives during the last campaign. However, he has been dormant at club level this term, while Green -- who burst onto the international scene in May -- was given the nod for the recent friendly with Argentina when Whelan was sidelined.
There are still question marks over the availability of another intended starter, Liam Lawrence. He is back in training at Stoke after damaging his groin in training ahead of that Argentine encounter.
If he were to miss out, then Birmingham's Keith Fahey would vie with Spartak Moscow's new signing Aiden McGeady for a starting slot.
Keith Treacy impressed on the left side of midfield as a sub against Argentina, but his fitness is in doubt after he limped off in Preston's reverse to Sheffield United on Saturday. Paul McShane missed Hull's loss to Doncaster with a calf problem so his participation is up in the air.
He would likely be a substitute in Armenia, though, with Sean St Ledger fit again to resume his partnership with Richard Dunne, with John O'Shea switching to right-back.
That said, O'Shea could be considered for left-back with Kevin Kilbane out of favour at Hull and Greg Cunningham still learning his trade.
Weekend action Player-by-Player
Another afternoon spent in a watching brief for the Donegal man, the only positive being that it removed the possibility of a last-minute injury for Ireland's most important player. Potentially Fulham bound.
Might also make the Sky Sports News ticker before Tuesday. Benched for Coventry in their defeat at Millwall, even though he's the club's main asset.
Ireland's third-choice 'keeper kept a clean sheet in Scunthorpe's comfortable win over Crystal Palace.
Good to see O'Shea back fit and in working order. Played a part in one of the goals as Manchester United strolled past West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.
Shook off a back problem to last the entirety of Aston Villa's hard-fought besting of Everton.
Sean St Ledger
Scare when he went off at the break in the Carling Cup tie midweek, but lasted the course as Preston lost to Sheffield United on Saturday.
Very much in the background at Manchester City, so no surprise when he didn't figure in the panel of 18 at Sunderland.
After spending last season in midfield, Foley has got a run at right-back for Wolves and that's where he was deployed in their draw with Newcastle United.
Has got off on the right foot with Mark Hughes and, with Paul Konchesky possibly en route to Anfield, opportunity knocks at left-full for the Dubliner. That's where he was in Fulham's draw with Blackpool.
Struggling with a calf injury and missed out on Hull's reverse at the hands of Doncaster.
Protracted loan move to Ipswich has guaranteed game time, and was another used at left-back in the defeat of Bristol City.
Ireland's first-choice left-full only sporadically features for Hull at present. He was unused in that 3-1 defeat at Doncaster.
Out with a groin injury. Was in the Sky Sports studio as pundit rather than playing in Blackburn Rovers' loss to Arsenal.
Came off the bench to feature in the second half of Stoke's loss at Chelsea. Struck the woodwork as well.
Alex Ferguson says Gibson can be a star, yet he has failed to make the bench in a number of games thus far in this campaign -- Saturday's win over West Ham included.
Set to benefit from the absence of Andrews, and came through Derby's draw with QPR unscathed.
Groin problem incurred in training before Argentina game a real worry for the midfielder, particularly as it's harmed his chances of moving before Tuesday. Armenia game may come too soon.
Still not ready to figure for Spartak Moscow, so the former Celtic winger missed out on their 2-0 loss to Terek Grozny.
The new Cardiff loan signing replaced Craig Bellamy with 10 minutes remaining of their victory at Portsmouth.
Has struggled with fitness for a number of September qualifiers in recent times, but seems to be fine this time. Taken off with five minutes left of draw at Blackpool.
Was introduced with 14 minutes remaining of Birmingham's disappointing draw with 10-man Bolton.
Hobbled off in Preston's aforementioned loss to Sheffield United, but is expected to still travel to Dublin.
Another afternoon as an unused sub for Keane, whose services weren't required as Wigan took the spoils from White Hart Lane.
Topsy-turvy start to the new campaign with the striker shaking off a few niggles, but he got through 72 minutes of Wolves' draw with Newcastle at the Molyneux.
Played the role of creator in Reading's important 2-1 victory over Leicester City on their travels. In for the duration.
A good afternoon for the Cavan lad, who hit the target in his new surroundings as CSKA Sofia enjoyed victory over a team named Sliven.