Andrew Omobamidele’s injury opens the door for Shane Duffy or Séamus Coleman
Andrew Omobamidele’s withdrawal from the Ireland squad for Saturday’s Nations League qualifier has increased the chances of Stephen Kenny gambling on the fitness of either Shane Duffy or Séamus Coleman despite their club inactivity.
By the time the game in Glasgow comes around, it will be over a month since the experienced duo’s last outing at club level with their respective appearances in the EFL Cup the only full competitive first-team games they have played this term.
Duffy has been unable to break into the Fulham team since joining on loan while an interrupted pre-season has left Coleman on the bench with Everton.
Nathan Collins and John Egan are viewed as certain starters against Scotland but the final spot in the back three is up for grabs. Kenny indicated last week that he would not be experimenting which suggested that Duffy was in a good position to retain his spot yet he also spoke of leaning towards players in form. Omobamidele is held in very high regard by management and has started the season well at Norwich so he was a strong contender.
Coleman only played in one of Ireland’s four June games and struggled when below par in Armenia, but Duffy was a central figure in three matches before suspension ruled him out of the away date with Ukraine.
In his absence, Collins moved to the centre of the back three and produced a stunning showing. Dara O’Shea stepped in for Egan on that occasion and has been fully active with West Brom, with the Dubliner versatile enough to play on either side. He’s a strong contender having impressed with his range of passing against Ukraine. However, Duffy, Collins and Egan were the defensive trio for the June dismissal of the Scots. With Matt Doherty likely to return at right wing-back, Coleman’s route to involvement would require Kenny sticking with Collins at the centre and introducing the skipper on the right.
Meanwhile, the FAI are close to confirming that Ireland’s November friendlies will be the visit of Erling Haaland’s Norway to Dublin prior to an away date in Malta.