Fit-again James McClean and John O'Shea boost Republic of Ireland hopes

James McClean scored twice for the Republic against Moldova
James McClean scored twice for the Republic against Moldova

Republic of Ireland duo James McClean and John O'Shea have recovered from injury ahead of Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Austria.

Both players took a full part in training in Dublin on Thursday before the squad travelled to Vienna.

However Leeds midfielder Eunan O'Kane has returned to his club due to a groin problem.

Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan from League of Ireland champions Dublin are part of the 27-man travelling squad.

McClean missed Tuesday's session because of a back problem, and the West Brom winger trained alone on Wednesday under the supervision of a fitness coach.

His return to full training on Thursday, alongside John O'Shea who has recovered from his recent hamstring problems, is a major boost to the Republic's manager Martin O'Neill.

McClean hit two of the team's goals in last month's 3-1 win in Moldova after Shane Long had scored Ireland's opener.

The Derryman could be an option for a striker's role with Long missing.

With Newcastle striker Daryl Murphy, who netted the late equaliser against Serbia in September, also ruled out by injury, O'Neill has reduced forward cover.

James McCarthy (left) battles with Moldova's Alexandru Gatcan last month
James McCarthy (left) has been ruled out of Saturday's game in Vienna

McCarthy ruled out of Vienna game

Everton midfielder James McCarthy was ruled out of the Group D encounter on Monday because of a hamstring injury.

McCarthy has missed most of his club's season because of injury but played in the Republic's qualifier wins over Georgia and Moldova.

Stephen Ward, Stephen Quinn and Cyrus Christie will also miss the qualifier.

McCarthy, 25, played against Georgia and Moldova after recovering from groin surgery but then suffered a hamstring injury.

Defender Christie faces at least three months on the sidelines after breaking a bone in his foot in Derby's win over Wolves on Saturday, while Burnley full-back Ward and Reading midfielder Quinn have also been ruled out of the contest by injury.

The Irish are level on points with Serbia after their opening draw in Belgrade was followed by the wins over Georgia and Moldova.

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