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O'Dowda gives Ireland a boost ahead of this month's World Cup qualifiers

Good news on the injury front for the Bristol City winger, who hasn’t played since St Stephen’s Day.

Callum O'Dowda under pressure from Harry Maguire during Ireland's friendly against England at Wembley last November.
Callum O'Dowda under pressure from Harry Maguire during Ireland's friendly against England at Wembley last November.
Image: PA

CALLUM O’DOWDA IS set to be available for the Republic of Ireland’s upcoming games against Serbia and Luxembourg, despite not playing a game yet this year.

O’Dowda, whose last appearance for Bristol City came on St Stephen’s Day, was rated as a doubt for Ireland’s opening World Cup qualifiers as he nursed a hamstring injury.

However, his club confirmed this afternoon that the 25-year-old winger is back in training as they prepare for Wednesday’s game against Bournemouth in the Championship.

News of O’Dowda’s return will be welcomed by Ireland manager Stephen Kenny, particularly with James McClean (foot) and Jack Byrne (back) already sidelined. Defenders John Egan (toe) and Derrick Williams (hamstring) are also unavailable.

O’Dowda, who has 23 senior caps, was Ireland’s man of the match when Stephen Kenny’s tenure began with a 1-1 draw away to Bulgaria last September.

The Boys in Green’s bid to reach the 2022 World Cup will begin in Serbia on 24 March, followed by a home game on 27 March against Luxembourg.

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Paul Dollery

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