Northern Ireland: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Paddy Lane & Brad Lyons out of qualifiers

Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s withdrawal means Plymouth’s Conor Hazard will be expected to play between the posts in Helsinki

Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Paddy Lane and Brad Lyons have become the latest players to be ruled out of Northern Ireland’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Finland and Denmark.

Regular starting keeper Peacock-Farrell has a knee injury while Lane and Lyons have calf issues.

Jonny Evans and Paul Smyth withdrew on Tuesday with Steven Davis, Corry Evans and Stuart Dallas long-term absentees.

Michael Forbes, Terry Devlin and Caolan Boyd-Munce have been called up.

West Ham defender Forbes and Portsmouth Terry Devlin are promoted from the under-21 squad while St Mirren’s Boyd-Munce is also drafted in as a replacement.

Manager Michael O’Neill called Rangers winger Ross McCausland into his squad on Tuesday following the withdrawal of Queens Park Rangers’ Smyth for Friday’s game in Finland.

The Northern Ireland boss is holding out hope Smyth could return for Monday’s home game against Denmark after he undergoes treatment at his club.

“Sadly we weren’t able to get Bailey, Brad or Paddy on the grass in recent days so they return home with our best wishes,” said O’Neill.

“Equally it’s a great chance for Michael, Terry and Caolan to join the squad to make a positive contribution.

“I am aware this affects Tommy Wright’s U21 squad but he, like all of us, recognises the amount of injuries we are dealing with and we hope they can return to play a part with his squad after the Denmark game on Monday.”

Peacock-Farrell’s absence means that Plymouth’s Conor Hazard looks likely to start in goal in Helsinki.

Hazard started in last month’s win over San Marino although Peacock-Farrell was then recalled for the home defeat by Slovenia a couple of days later.


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