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Three Players Unlucky To Miss Out On Martin O'Neill's World Cup Qualifier Squad

Three Players Unlucky To Miss Out On Martin O'Neill's World Cup Qualifier Squad
By PJ Browne

Martin O'Neill today named his 35-man squad for the World Cup qualifier against Austria on November 12th.

It is a group which strangely features more goalkeepers than strikers. If you're Irish and not one of the FIVE keepers in included then you undoubtedly feel aggrieved.

With both Shane Long and Daryl Murphy out injured, there is a real deficit of forward options. Adam Rooney, scorer of more than in the Scottish Premiership over the last two years, will surely see some action in Vienna.

Here are three players unlucky not to be included in the squad.

Greg Cunningham and Matt Doherty

The 35-man squad features just four options at full back. Seamus Coleman and Cyrus Christie at right-back and Stephen Ward and Robbie Brady at left-back.

Factoring in that Stephen Ward is a fitness doubt - he limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury in Burnley's draw with Man Utd at the weekend - both Cunningham and Doherty must consider themselves unlucky not to be included in the squad.

If Ward is not able to start then Robbie Brady would likely fill in but given how much more potent Ireland appear with Brady in midfield, O'Neill would surely prefer to play him there rather than closer to his own goal.

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Cunningham has been virtually ever-present for Preston this season. He's also chipped in with three assists. His latest was in 2-1 loss to Newcastle at the weekend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QbGLSyDKl4

Matt Doherty has the extra virtue of being able to play at either left-back or right-back - he's filled in at both for Wolves this season. Though predominantly right-footed, he was named Players' Player of the Year and Fans Player of the Season for 2015/16 playing on the left.

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Like Cunningham, Doherty has three assists this season. His latest was also at the weekend in a 1-1 draw with Blackburn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnDKJpnVvAc
John Egan

There are seven centre-backs in O'Neill's squad but not one of them is John Egan. The Brentford defender has been in excellent form for his side this season. One of his best performances was live on Sky Sports last Friday as Brentford won 2-0 away to QPR. It was one which merited inclusion in the Football League Team of the Week.

Egan is also a serious goalscoring threat. He's got three this season.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gzMFqSIArA

See Also: Two Dundalk Players In Ireland Squad For World Cup Qualifier Against Austria

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