Darren Randolph injured for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

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Caoimhin Kelleher has also emerged as a doubt.

Darren Randolph has been ruled out of Ireland’s upcoming World Cup qualification games against Serbia and Luxembourg, Stephen Kenny has confirmed.

He also revealed that current Liverpool backup keeper Caoimhin Kelleher is a doubt, potentially ruling him out of contention of what would be his first senior international cap.

James McCarthy, Jack Byrne, Kieren Westwood and John Egan are also injured, meaning they’ll be unavailable.

In more positive news, SĂ©amus Coleman has been passed fit for the upcoming fixtures as Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti confirmed his availability for their game against Burnley on the weekend.

ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS

With Randolph, Westwood and Kelleher injured, there aren’t many options to pick from as the first-choice goalkeeper.

In fact, the most experienced option of the lot is Mark Travers. The current Bournemouth goalkeeper made two appearances for the national team in 2019 but hasn’t featured since, mainly due to lack of match time at club level and the presence of Darren Randolph.

Gavin Bazunu is another option and one that would certainly excite many Ireland fans. The 19-year-old goalkeeper has long been considered a top prospect in Ireland despite his age. Bazunu is on loan at Rochdale from Manchester City this season and out of all the realistic choices Ireland have in terms of goalkeepers, he’s arguably in the best form and has played the most games.

That said though, throwing a 19-year-old with no prior involvement in the senior national side into the deep end would be a risk, particularly in games of this magnitude.

Also, if he was to make a mistake leading to a goal, it could be detrimental to his confidence.

Other options that could fill in include Max O’Leary, Jack Bonham, Kieran O’Hara, Rob Elliot and Ian Lawlor.

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