O'Neill sweats over hamstring as full-back misses key clashes
Martin O'Neill will spend his week anxiously waiting for updates from Everton on Séamus Coleman's fitness after a hamstring injury has ruled out the defender for the short-term.
And the Ireland boss, who hopes to see Shay Given get the nod to play for Stoke against Tottenham tonight, has a deeper worry over Aiden McGeady, who also has a hamstring complaint.
McGeady was absent from the Sheffield Wednesday squad at the weekend and a major doubt for their Championship game tomorrow.
Coleman hobbled off during his side's draw with Southampton and the club later confirmed that he had picked up a hamstring problem which makes him almost certain to miss their next two games, Wednesday's clash with Liverpool in the Premier League and next Saturday's FA Cup semi-final date with Manchester United.
"Obviously Séamus felt his hamstring," boss Roberto Martinez said. "We're going to assess him but it will be hard to see him being involved this week. That sort of injury will take a bit longer than a week."
Coleman is a quick healer and he is expected to prove his fitness well before the squad report to Dublin next month, but with players like Jonathan Walters, Daryl Murphy, Harry Arter, Jeff Hendrick, Marc Wilson, Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle already sidelined, an injury to Coleman is the last thing O'Neill wanted to see.
Italy, one of Ireland's opponents at Euro 2016, suffered a major blow as Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio is out of the tournament due to a knee injury.