Duff and Folan to miss crucial World Cup qualifiers

Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland side may have suffered a double injury blow ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Montenegro.

Fulham's Damien Duff has a calf injury from Saturday's defeat to Arsenal at Craven Cottage and the club have confirmed he will be out for up to three weeks.

This means he may miss the Italy game on October 10, but Duff may recover in time for the match against Montenegro on Wednesday October 14.

Caleb Folan, currently on-loan at Middlesbrough from Hull City, is also a serious doubt for both games.

The striker tore his hamstring at training and could be sidelined for up to six weeks, the club have said he will have scans to determine the length of his lay-off.

The Boys in Green need only a point from the games to guarantee second spot in the World Cup Group 8 table which brings with it a play-off to qualify for South Africa in 2010.

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