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Sunday 4 December 2016

O'Shea return a boost for O'Neill but Mac a doubt

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John O'Shea is winning his battle to be fit in time for the second leg of Ireland's Euro 2016 play-off against Bosnia.

But there is a fresh injury concern for Martin O'Neill in attack as David McGoldrick is now a doubt. The Ipswich Town man has yet to make his competitive international debut, but with Jon Walters suspended for the first leg of the play-off and Shane Long a major concern, the absence of McGoldrick would further reduce O'Neill's options.

O'Shea will sit out the leg in Zenica with a one-match ban but he was a doubt for the home leg due to a hamstring injury. But Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce revealed that the Waterford man is back in training and in contention for tomorrow, along with team-mates Fabio Borini, Ola Toivonen and Younes Kaboul.

"The good news is Ola, Fabio, Younes and John all trained," Allardyce said yesterday. "With no reaction from their first training session back in the squad they will be available for selection on Saturday, which is important." But McGoldrick is troubled by a groin strain and could be out for Ipswich, according to boss Mick McCarthy.

"It has been bothering him a little bit recently and I had to be aware of that, with Didz (McGoldrick) having played against Forest and Cardiff," said McCarthy. "It's something we have to be conscious of with Didz. We'll see how he is."

Newcastle Keeper Rob Elliot, likely to be in as back-up, is also making progress after injury.

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