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N Ireland suffer Cathcart blow

Craig Cathcart has been ruled out of Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifiers with a knee injury.

Last Updated: 04/09/13 at 12:30 Post Comment

Craig Cathcart: Played in last month's win over Russia

Craig Cathcart: Played in last month's win over Russia

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The Blackpool defender has pulled out of the squad after failing to recover in time for the upcoming matches against Portugal and Luxembourg.

Manager Michael O'Neill has given himself more options by calling up versatile Aberdeen player Josh Magennis and Kilmarnock defender Rory McKeown.

The absence of Cathcart and suspended Burnley defender Daniel Lafferty means O'Neill will make at least two changes to the side which claimed an upset 1-0 win over Russia last month.

Manchester United's Jonny Evans and fellow defender Ryan McGivern of Hibernian are expected to come in as Northern Ireland host Portugal in Belfast on Friday and travel to face Luxembourg four days later.

O'Neill's side are fourth in Group F on six points, five behind third-placed Israel and eight adrift of leaders Portugal, having played a game less than the pacesetters.

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hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

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ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

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e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

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