Mick McCarthy and Irish football fans have been given a boost ahead of their crucial upcoming EURO 2020 qualifiers. McCarthy had been dealt a tough hand for the Republic of Ireland’s upcoming games.
Both members of his ever-present center-back pairing, Shane Duffy and Richard Keogh, were ruled out of the games. Keogh will likely not feature again this season, following his off-the-pitch injury. Meanwhile, center-forward David McGoldrick was also expected to miss Ireland’s games due to injury.
However, positive news has surfaced regarding Duffy and McGoldrick at the last minute. Brighton manager Graham Potter has claimed that Duffy’s diagnosis is “better than we thought”. This is encouraging news for Ireland. Duffy has become a talismanic presence in the Ireland squad. His potential presence will be a major boost for McCarthy.
Meanwhile, Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has claimed that he “thinks (McGoldrick) is going to travel with (Ireland)”. Wilder spoke of McGoldrick’s desire to play for his country in the upcoming qualifiers. He has stated that the club will “give him every chance” to feature for Ireland.
The addition of these two first-team players to Mick McCarthy’s squad would make a big difference to Ireland’s chances of qualifying for EURO 2020. Both of these players have featured in all of Ireland’s EURO 2020 qualifiers thus far. They have also been two of Ireland’s best players throughout their undefeated qualification campaign.
Both players were left out of Mick McCarthy’s 24-man squad for the upcoming games vs Georgia and Switzerland. Ireland will be boosted should one, or both, be added before next Saturday’s game in Georgia.
Ireland currently top group D with 11 points. However, they could still finish outside of the top 2 qualification spots in the group. Switzerland and Denmark are hot on Ireland’s heels. Ireland’s final two games will be played against these two teams. There will be no room for error in Ireland’s final qualification group games.
Should Ireland finish outside of the top 2 places in Group D, they will likely have the opportunity to qualify via the playoffs. However, the process becomes much more complicated at that point.
Whoever ultimately lines out for Ireland will undoubtedly have the whole country behind them. However, with such crucial games coming up, having the right players on the pitch may be more important than ever.
Before Ireland think about their games vs Switzerland and Denmark, they must get passed Georgia. Ireland’s third-last EURO 2020 qualifier takes place next Saturday afternoon in Georgia. Kick-off will be at 2 p.m for this game. Coverage for the game starts at 13:45, on RTE 2.