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Saturday 10 December 2016

McCarthy Vienna doubt

Hamstring injury may rule midfielder out

Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy
Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy

James McCarthy is the latest injury doubt for Ireland's World Cup tie in Austria next month, adding to Martin O'Neill's concerns for Vienna.

With Shane Long and Darren Randolph currently injured - Randolph is expected to return to fitness this week - O'Neill has enough to deal with but McCarthy is now a major doubt for the game in three weeks' time.

Having recovered from surgery on a groin injury in time to play against Georgia and Moldova, against his club's wishes, McCarthy has now suffered a hamstring tear and could be out for weeks. O'Neill will have Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick available but with Long and McCarthy now major doubts, his options for Vienna will be reduced.

Since expressing his anger with the FAI earlier this month, Everton boss Ronald Koeman will be reluctant to release McCarthy.

That game in the Austrian capital is attracting massive interest, as the Austrian FA have confirmed in the last 24 hours that the qualifier is sold out. Irish fans had been allocated 3,000 tickets by Austria but these have already been snapped up and the FAI have gone back to the Austrians to ask for more tickets.

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