Republic of Ireland are still sweating on the fitness of John O’Shea and Shane Long – as Martin O’Neill’s side prepare for Friday’s Euro 2016 play-off with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The Sunderland centre-back and Southampton striker are among five Irish players named in a reduced 30-man squad having their fitness assessed by their clubs before reporting for duty in Dublin. Goalkeeper Rob Elliot – whose thigh injury didn’t prevent him from starring in Newcastle’s 1-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday – Reading defender Paul McShane and Brentford midfielder Alan Judge are the others.
Republic of Ireland are best price 11/10 favourites to beat Bosnia-Herzegovina in the first leg of their Euro 2016 Qualifying play-off at Betfred, who also offer an industry-leading 11/10 for Bosnia-Herzegovina to make the most of home advantage with a victory in Friday’s game. Meanwhile, the draw is available at 9/4.
Irish Injuries To Be Assessed
Sunderland defender O’Shea – who is suspended for Friday’s first leg in Zenica following his sending off in Poland last month – has not played since damaging his hamstring in his club’s 3-0 derby triumph over Newcastle, while Long suffered a foot injury in Warsaw three days after scoring the winner against World Cup holders Germany on October 8.
A Football Association of Ireland statement said: “Martin O’Neill has reduced the Republic of Ireland squad to 30 players ahead of meeting Bosnia-Herzegovina in the UEFA 2016 European Championship qualifying play-off.
“Rob Elliot, John O’Shea, Paul McShane, Alan Judge and Shane Long will all be assessed by their respective clubs before reporting for international duty.”
Veteran goalkeeper Shay Given and forward David McGoldrick have already previously been ruled out by injury, while Stoke City’s Jonathan Walters will also sit out Friday’s first leg after collecting his third booking of the campaign against Poland.