Martin O’Neill’s hopes of his Republic of Ireland internationals coming through this weekend’s club fixtures with a clean bill of health have been dealt a huge blow with Norwich midfielder, Wes Hoolahan leaving the clash with Barnsley with a reported thigh injury.
The Irish Independent report the 35-year-old suffered the injury in the first half and was replaced by Scotland’s Steven Naismith. Hoolahan is now deemed to be doubtful for next Friday’s showdown with Wales in the Aviva Stadium with Norwich interim manager, Alan Irvine stating the player will likely travel to Dublin and be assessed by Martin O’Neill’s medical team.
The Northern Echo report more bad news for the Irish camp with Newcastle United’s Ciaran Clark likely to be sidelined for a lengthy spell thus ruling him out of next Friday’s fixture after having ready lost Brighton defender Shane Duffy through injury, O’Neill will be without what is thought to be his preferred centre back pairing.
Harry Arter did not make the Bournemouth squad for this evening’s clash with Swansea City. Everton’s James McCarthy is also a doubt with a hamstring injury.
With Burnley’s Robbie Brady suspended, there was some good news for the Irish with the Championship player of the month, Aiden McGeady, once again on the scoresheet as Preston secured a 2-2 draw with struggling Blackburn.
McGeady’s return to form has come at a good time for both player and manager with his form and O’Neill’s fondness of his former Celtic player likely to see him involved at the Aviva.
Ireland sit top of Group D, four points ahead of their visitor’s Wales, who sit in third.
Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena