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Monday 21 August 2017

McCarthy boost, Walters blow for O'Neill

Everton's James McCarthy celebrates scoring their first goal with Phil Jagielka
Everton's James McCarthy celebrates scoring their first goal with Phil Jagielka

James McCarthy has given his managers with club and country reason to smile as the midfielder ended a 10-month scoring drought to help Everton ease their relegation worries.

But as he prepares to assemble his squad in Dublin next Sunday ahead of that vital Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland, Martin O'Neill has a number of injury worries nagging at him, with Jonathan Walters now a doubt for the Poland tie after he suffered a suspected cheekbone fracture while on duty for Stoke on Saturday. "He looks as though he has a nasty bang on his cheekbone which may well be a fracture and that will have to be checked," said Stoke boss Mark Hughes of Walters, who was almost certain to start - if fit - at home to the Poles.

"We hope it isn't but it's looking as though it could be a serious one that will keep him out for a few games."

McCarthy's goal - his first of the season - in Everton's 3-0 win over Newcastle United - will have cheered O'Neill, with McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and Darron Gibson all in the starting line-up.

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