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Séamus Coleman is a doubt as boss Stephen Kenny plots Ukraine plan

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Ireland's Séamus Coleman in action against Armenia's Kamo Hovhannisyan during their UEFA Nations League B Group 1 clash at Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium in Yerevan, Armenia. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland's Séamus Coleman in action against Armenia's Kamo Hovhannisyan during their UEFA Nations League B Group 1 clash at Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium in Yerevan, Armenia. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland's Séamus Coleman in action against Armenia's Kamo Hovhannisyan during their UEFA Nations League B Group 1 clash at Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium in Yerevan, Armenia. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland captain Séamus Coleman is being assessed as Stephen Kenny prepares to freshen up his team for tomorrow’s UEFA Nations League tie with Ukraine.

The Everton skipper reported for duty with a minor groin problem after he was replaced with ten minutes remaining of Saturday’s defeat to Armenia.

Kenny had said before this window that it would be a struggle for Coleman to feature in all four games, yet suggested that the additional day between the Armenia and Ukraine game might work in his favour.

However, the 33-year-old looked to be in a small bit of discomfort as he left the pitch in Yerevan and he is now being monitored closely ahead of the meeting with Ukraine.

Cyrus Christie is the most likely alternative at right-wing-back, although Chiedozie Ogbene did finish the first game of the quadruple header in that position.

Ukraine have indicated they will ring the changes and field a second-string side as they recover from Sunday’s World Cup play-off heartbreak at the hands of Wales. 

They should be closer to full strength for the return meeting in Lodz next Tuesday, the last game before the summer break.

Kenny may opt to hold Coleman back with a view to Saturday’s derby with Scotland or the neutral encounter with the Ukrainians.

He is without Gavin Bazunu for the entire gathering as no chances are being taken with the back problem that kept him out of Yerevan.

Caoimhín Kelleher stepped in and is set for his most significant week at international level.

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The Corkman said yesterday that the collective mood has been to “let go” of their Armenia frustration and focus on the tasks ahead.

“Obviously the result wasn’t ideal on Saturday and doesn’t put us in a good position but it’s our first game and we still have a lot of games to play,” said the 23-year-old.

“It was disappointing not to give the fans who travelled over a result and performance they deserved.” 


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