Republic of Ireland v Georgia

James McCarthy

James McCarthy has featured twice for Everton this season


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Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy has been declared fit ahead of Thursday night’s World Cup qualifier against Georgia at the Aviva Stadium.

The Everton player recently underwent surgery for a groin complaint but Republic manager Martin O’Neill said the only concern is match sharpness.

“He has trained the last couple of days. He is feeling not too bad at all,” said O’Neill on Wednesday.

“He is fit and if he’s selected he is ready to go,” added the Republic boss.

Lengthy injury list for O’Neill

Bournemouth’s Harry Arter (groin) looks likely to join the Republic’s absentees for both Thursday’s game and Sunday’s qualifier with Moldova in Chisnau.

Daryl Murphy (calf), Stephen Quinn (knee), Keiren Westwood (thigh), Kevin Doyle (ankle), Aiden McGeady (hamstring), Anthony Pilkington (muscular) and Marc Wilson (fitness) are already ruled out.

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Westwood is replaced by Manchester City’s Ian Lawlor, promoted from the under-21s, while Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney has also been called up.

O’Neill’s side are hoping to build on their opening 2-2 draw in Serbia,

Moldova were beaten 4-0 by Wales in Cardiff in their opening qualifier while Georgia lost 2-1 at home to Austria in their first game in Group D.


Daryl Murphy (centre) scored the Republic’s late equaliser against Serbia in Belgrade