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banner Sunday, 4 November, 2001, 21:26 GMT
Kennedy out of Dublin play-off
Wolves winger Mark Kennedy will miss Republic's play-off
Mark Kennedy is ruled out by a hamstring injury
Mark Kennedy has withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad for Saturday's World Cup play-off first leg against Iran at Lansdowne Road.

The Wolves winger has pulled out because of a hamstring injury.

Kennedy's withdrawal adds to the worries of Republic boss Mick McCarthy, who has already seen another wide man, Blackburn's Damien Duff, ruled out with a similar injury.

Now McCarthy must keep his fingers crossed that doubtful duo Sunderland's Kevin Kilbane and Millwall's Steven Reid will recover to link up with the squad in Dublin on Tuesday.

Kilbane looked to be a certain starter against the Iranians but he missed Sunderland's 1-0 defeat by Leicester at Filbert Street on Saturday because of ankle problem.

Sunderland's Kevin Kilbane
Kevin Kilbane is also an injury-doubt

Reid, who won his first cap in the draw with Croatia in August, was absent from Millwall's 3-2 victory over Coventry at the New Den on Saturday because of a hamstring problem.

"As with the Roy Keane situation and his ongoing knee problem, we will just have to be patient and wait and see when the squad assembles on Tuesday. Time is on our side," said McCarthy.

Kennedy could yet come into the reckoning for the second leg in Tehran a week on Thursday, but no decision will be made for at least 72 hours.

The absence of Duff means 35-year-old Sunderland striker Niall Quinn is almost certain to partner in-form Leeds star Robbie Keane in attack.

But both David Connolly (Wimbledon) and Clinton Morrison (Crystal Palace) could also force themselves into the reckoning.

Lansdowne Road is a 35,000 sell-out for the first leg with the Iranians taking out their allocated quota of 3,500 for fans based mainly in Britain.

The return game at the Azabi Stadium on 15 November is expected to be a 110,000 sell-out.

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