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O'Neill to sweat over McCarthy injury worry

JAMES McCARTHY was a surprise absentee when Everton set off for a Europa Cup assignment with FC Krasnador in Russia earlier today.

Also left at home was injury concern Séamus Coleman and the fact that Roberto Martinez has decided to travel without half his Irish contingent must be a worry for Ireland boss Martin O'Neill.

The Ireland boss gathers his squad together in Dublin next week to prepare for the home Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar on October 11 and the tough away game against Germany three days later.

Coleman is clearly the biggest problem and it could well be that Martinez has decided to rest McCarthy in advance of a big Premier League clash with Manchester United at the weekend but O'Neill will still wait anxiously for word from Goodison about his most important midfielder.