Republic of Ireland suffer defender injury blow

Republic of Ireland John O Shea Euro 2016

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The Republic of Ireland have suffered a potential blow ahead of their Euro 2016 play-off games with Bosnia-Herzegovina as John O’Shea may miss both legs.

The veteran Sunderland defender has suffered a recurrence of a hamstring problem. He was already suspended for the first leg in Zelina next Friday, however his club manager Sam Allardyce reckons O’Shea will not be ready to return for the second leg only three days later in Dublin.

The 34-year-old former Manchester United defender, who has won 108 caps for the Republic, has not played since Sunderland’s defeat to Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby on October 25, but suffered a recurrence of the issue after training earlier this week and missed the defeat to Southampton on Saturday.

Republic boss Martin O’Neill had named O’Shea in his squad for the play-off double-header, despite his suspension from the first leg, but Allardyce is far from optimistic about the veteran defender’s chances of featuring at all.

Allardyce said: “He’s not going to get fit in 10 days with a hamstring injury.

“He will be talking to them – the Republic – but I wouldn’t have thought that, with the recurrence in his hamstring, he would be anywhere near available.

“He’s not been able to get fit for us in two weeks. He got through training all right yesterday and was selected to play, but felt it this morning, so we took him out.”

The Republic are 4.00 to win the first leg of their play-off, while Bosnia are 1.95 and the draw is priced at 3.20. Ireland are 151.00 to win Euro 2016 outright.

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