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Ireland's James McCarthy makes first start for Everton in nearly 9 months

Martin O’Neill is set to name the Ireland squad for the Denmark play-off games tomorrow.

Image: Martin Rickett

JAMES MCCARTHY WILL make his first competitive appearance for Everton since March tonight as he steps up his recovery from a hamstring injury.

With Martin O’Neill set to name his Ireland squad for November’s World Cup play-off games against Denmark tomorrow, news of McCarthy’s return is a welcome boost to the Irish hopes of making it to Russia.

The 26-year-old hasn’t started a game for the Toffees since 4 February when he scored in a 6-3 defeat of Bournemouth, and he’s featured in just two of Ireland’s 10 World Cup qualifiers so far this campaign.

His last appearance for the club came off the bench in a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham seven months ago.

Managerless Everton take on Chelsea in tonight’s Carabao Cup last 16 tie at Stamford Bridge, with U23 boss David Unsworth named as temporary manager following Ronald Koeman’s dismissal.

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Kevin O'Brien

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