Ireland missing key duo

28 August 2017 21:11:58 UK

The Republic of Ireland will be without key midfielders Jeff Hendrick and James McCarthy for their World Cup qualifiers with Georgia and Serbia.

Manager Martin O'Neill has named a 25-man squad for the crucial double-header but the Burnley and Everton pair were not in it.

Leeds midfielder Eunan O'Kane is ruled out by a groin strain while key striker Jonathan Walters is also a concern.

Aston Villa's Scott Hogan, who is understood to have committed his international future to Ireland, misses out with clearance not arriving in time.

There is also no place for Aberdeen's Adam Rooney, who returned from injury at the weekend to score the winning goal that sent his side to the top of the Scottish Premiership as they beat Partick Thistle 4-3.

O'Neill's side are level on points with Group D leaders Serbia, who they play in Dublin on 5th September - three days after Saturday's away encounter against Georgia.

Serbia host Moldova on Saturday while Austria travel to Cardiff to take on Chris Coleman's Wales in a must-win game for both nations.

Ireland are 10/11 to beat Georgia, who are 4/1 with the draw priced at 23/10.

Republic of Ireland squad:

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)

Defenders: Cyrus Christie (Middlesbrough), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Kevin Long, Stephen Ward (Burnley)

Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Sunderland), Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), David Meyler (Hull City), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Daryl Horgan (Preston North End), Jonathan Hayes (Celtic), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City)

Forwards: Jonathan Walters (Burnley), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Nottingham Forest), David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town)

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