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Duff a doubt for Italian clash

DAMIEN Duff has emerged as a doubt for Ireland's World Cup Qualification clash against Italy at Croke Park next month after he pulled up with a calf injury in Fulham's Premier League defeat to Arsenal on Saturday.

With just 12 days to go until the top-of-the-table Group Eight clash in Dublin, the former Chelsea man faces a race against time to be fit after being hauled off just eight minutes into the London derby at Craven Cottage.

It may spell big problems for Giovanni Trapattoni, who is also sweating over the fitness of Aiden McGeady -- the winger did not feature in Celtic's win over St Mirren at the weekend.

"He felt something go in his calf," said Fulham manager Roy Hodgson of Duff's early exit on Saturday.

"We won't know how serious it is until we get the results of a scan.

"There was no one near him when he went down, it's just one of those freak situations."

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