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Saturday 1 October 2016

Coleman a big doubt for World Cup qualifier

Martin O'Neill was keen to have the experience of Seamus Coleman (pictured) in the back four for that key date with Serbia. Photo: Getty Images
Martin O'Neill was keen to have the experience of Seamus Coleman (pictured) in the back four for that key date with Serbia. Photo: Getty Images

Seamus Coleman is almost certain to miss Ireland's opening game in the World Cup qualifiers next month as Everton have confirmed that the defender will be sidelined for at least a fortnight.

Coleman, who had been expected to start the World Cup qualifying campaign as team captain, missed the start of the Premier League season last weekend and he won't feature for his club against West Brom tomorrow. "Seamus is not ready. He'll be out for another two weeks at least," Toffees boss Ronald Koeman said ahead of the clash with the Baggies.

With one defender (Shane Duffy) already out of the Serbia game due to suspension, Martin O'Neill was keen to have the experience of Coleman in the back four for that key date with Serbia. The Ireland squad will assemble in Dublin to prepare for the August 31st friendly at home to Oman, with the game in Serbia taking place on Monday September 5th and while Coleman will be named in O'Neill's squad for that tie, it's highly unlikely that the Donegal native will be fit. Cyrus Christie is on stand-by to fill in for Coleman in the right back position.

Jeff Hendrick is also battling with injury and David McGoldrick has been ruled out due to injury while O'Neill will assess the claims of uncapped players like Matt Doherty, John Egan and Jack Byrne, who have all been impressive in the opening games of the new Championship season.

Meanwhile, Everton's former England Under-21 international Luke Garbutt has signed on loan with Championship club Wigan until January 2. The 23-year-old full-back, who was capped on 11 occasions by England Under-21s, has only made five senior appearances for the Toffees and spent last season with Fulham.

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