Matt Doherty and James McClean test positive for Covid-19

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The pair will now miss Ireland’s upcoming game against Bulgaria.

The FAI have confirmed that Matt Doherty and James McClean have tested positive for Covid-19. This comes just one day after they started against Wales. “The rest and the staff and squad tested negative ahead of the flight back to Dublin this morning”, the FAI announced earlier today.

The exclusion of Doherty and McClean only adds to the growing list of Ireland absentees. There’s now an unprecedented number of players unavailable for Wednesday’s fixture and relegation decider against Bulgaria.

Jeff Hendrick and Jayson Molumby are suspended for the match as a result of their bookings on Tuesday. Alan Browne and Callum Robinson previously tested positive for Covid-19, meaning they’ll miss out. Injuries have also ruled a handful of players out including; Enda Stevens, Aaron Connolly, Séamus Coleman, John Egan, Adam Idah and Harry Arter. James McCarthy also withdrew from the squad due to personal issues.

Stephen Kenny will now have to work with an even more depleted squad as he looks to gather his first win as Ireland boss.

Ireland squad against Bulgaria:

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Caoimhín Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth)

Defenders: Kevin Long (Burnley), Shane Duffy (Celtic, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Cyrus Christie (Nottingham Forest, on loan from Fulham), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), Ryan Manning (Swansea City).

Midfielders: Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), Jason Knight (Derby County), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Aaron McEneff (Shamrock Rovers), Jack Taylor (Peterborough United).

Attackers: Graham Burke (Shamrock Rovers, on loan from Preston North End), James Collins (Luton Town), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Troy Parrott (Millwall, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur).

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