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Caoimhín Kelleher among four players ruled out of Ireland's World Cup qualifiers

Conor Hourihane and Callum O’Dowda are also out, as the bad news keeps on rolling for Stephen Kenny.

Caoimhin Kelleher.
Caoimhin Kelleher.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Updated Mar 21st 2021, 10:39 PM

STEPHEN KENNY’S BAD luck on the goalkeeping front has come in a pair: Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhín Kelleher has been ruled out of Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers next week through injury, compounding the absence of first-choice ‘keeper Darren Randolph. 

Kelleher was in line to replace Randolph, but he has failed to recover from the abdominal injury that has kept him out of Liverpool’s squads for over a month, meaning Bournemouth’s Mark Travers is likely to make his senior competitive debut in next Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Serbia. 

The bad news for Kenny doesn’t end there: defender Kevin Long has been ruled out too, along with in-form midfielder Conor Hourihane  and Bristol City attacker Callum O’Dowda.

Blackburn defender Daragh Lenihan has been called up to replace Long, with West Ham midfielder and Irish U21 international Conor Coventry called up the senior squad for the first time. 

Kenny is already missing John Egan, James McCarthy, Jack Byrne, Harry Arter, and Adam Idah through injury.

There is some good news in the sense that James McClean and Aaron Connolly are both included, in spite of doubts surrounding their fitness this week. 

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Ireland have assembled in Manchester and will train at Man City’s training ground tomorrow, ahead of the flight to Belgrade for a crucial World Cup qualifier. 

Republic of Ireland squad 

Goalkeepers: Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth), Gavin Bazunu (Rochdale, on loan from Manchester City), Kieran O’Hara (Burton Albion).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Shane Duffy (Celtic, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), Cyrus Christie (Nottingham Forest), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers).
Midfielders: Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (Preston North End, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Jason Knight (Derby County), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Conor Coventry (West Ham United).
Wingers: Robbie Brady (Burnley), James McClean (Stoke City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth).
Strikers: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), Shane Long (AFC Bournemouth, on loan from Southampton), James Collins (Luton Town), Troy Parrott (Ipswich Town, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur). 

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Gavin Cooney

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