Sunday 25 February 2018

Ireland's in-form Premier League midfielder a major doubt for upcoming qualifiers while Serbia goalscorer is ruled out

Harry Arter
Harry Arter
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Martin O'Neill is dealing with a raft of injury problems ahead of this week's World Cup 2018 double header with Georgia and Moldova and in-form Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter is one of the major concerns.

Fitness issues have helped O'Neill with the task of cutting down his squad.

O'Neill will have to cope without Newcastle new boy Daryl Murphy - the scorer of the equaliser in Serbia last month - due to a calf problem.

Marc Wilson (Bournemouth), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff) and Stephen Quinn (Reading) all miss out. Quinn made a positive impact off the bench in Belgrade.

O'Neill revealed that the absence of Wilson is due to match fitness rather than injury and that winger Aiden McGeady is also ruled out.

Colorado based Kevin Doyle is not expected to travel because of an ankle issue. Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney has been added to the panel.

Arter, McGeady (Preston) and Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday) were absent from training in Abbotstown this afternoon because they stayed back for assessment with their employers. Arter damaged his groin on club duty, while Westwood is a major doubt on account of a thigh injury. Manchester City keeper Ian Lawlor has been promoted from the U21 squad in the expectation that the experienced netminder will be unavailable.

James McCarthy has reported for duty to have his groin problem assessed, yet the odds are still against the Everton man making his comeback in the Dublin date with Georgia on Thursday. He did engage in light training. Leeds recent recruit Eunan O'Kane is also carrying a knock.

There was no place in O'Neill's final panel for Barnsley midfielder Conor Hourihane who was named in the provisional list for the first time.

Online Editors

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