Tuesday 21 November 2017

Andrews injury opens Ireland door for Green

Keith Andrews. Photo: Getty Images
Keith Andrews. Photo: Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

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

Shay Given

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.

Keiren Westwood

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.

Joe Murphy

Ireland's third-choice 'keeper kept a clean sheet in Scunthorpe's comfortable win over Crystal Palace.

John O'Shea

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.

Richard Dunne

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.

Greg Cunningham

Very much in the background at Manchester City, so no surprise when he didn't figure in the panel of 18 at Sunderland.

Kevin Foley

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.

Stephen Kelly

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.

Paul McShane

Struggling with a calf injury and missed out on Hull's reverse at the hands of Doncaster.

Darren O'Dea

Protracted loan move to Ipswich has guaranteed game time, and was another used at left-back in the defeat of Bristol City.

Kevin Kilbane

Ireland's first-choice left-full only sporadically features for Hull at present. He was unused in that 3-1 defeat at Doncaster.

Keith Andrews

Out with a groin injury. Was in the Sky Sports studio as pundit rather than playing in Blackburn Rovers' loss to Arsenal.

Glenn Whelan

Came off the bench to feature in the second half of Stoke's loss at Chelsea. Struck the woodwork as well.

Darron Gibson

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.

Paul Green

Set to benefit from the absence of Andrews, and came through Derby's draw with QPR unscathed.

Liam Lawrence

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.

Aiden McGeady

Still not ready to figure for Spartak Moscow, so the former Celtic winger missed out on their 2-0 loss to Terek Grozny.

Andy Keogh

The new Cardiff loan signing replaced Craig Bellamy with 10 minutes remaining of their victory at Portsmouth.

Damien Duff

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.

Keith Fahey

Was introduced with 14 minutes remaining of Birmingham's disappointing draw with 10-man Bolton.

Keith Treacy

Hobbled off in Preston's aforementioned loss to Sheffield United, but is expected to still travel to Dublin.

Robbie Keane

Another afternoon as an unused sub for Keane, whose services weren't required as Wigan took the spoils from White Hart Lane.

Kevin Doyle

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.

Shane Long

Played the role of creator in Reading's important 2-1 victory over Leicester City on their travels. In for the duration.

Cillian Sheridan

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.

Irish Independent

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