Liam Scales and Michael Duffy in the mix for Ireland call-ups

The League of Ireland duo of Scales and Duffy will learn their fate when Stephen Kenny names his Ireland squad on Thursday
Liam Scales and Michael Duffy in the mix for Ireland call-ups

Shamrock Rovers' Liam Scales and Michael Duffy of Dundalk compete in the air during the 2020 FAI Cup final. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

League of Ireland duo Liam Scales and Michael Duffy are in contention for debut call-ups for Ireland’s upcoming World Cup qualification triple-header.

Stephen Kenny names his squad on Thursday for the Group A fixtures against favourites Portugal in Faro next Wednesday, followed by games against Azerbaijan and Serbia at the Aviva Stadium.

As with the last window which featured three games in March, a panel of at least 29 players is likely to be unveiled. The squad assembles in Manchester on Sunday.

Vinny Perth confirmed over the weekend that his Dundalk winger Duffy is “presumed to be there or thereabouts” while it’s understood Celtic-bound defender Scales is also in the mix for inclusion.

The 23-year-old defender is well known to Kenny. As U21 manager in 2019, he handed Scales his debut at the 2019 Toulon tournament, the first of six caps earned at that level.

He’s now motoring towards a reunion at senior level, although the battalion of centre-backs Kenny has to choose from means Scales is likely to be challenging for a left-sided defensive role. The first-choice in that position, Enda Stevens, is the only player so far definitively ruled out through injury.

Thursday’s announcement will confirm whether Scales is on standby or has made the final cut for the plane to the Algarve.

Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley has confirmed a fee between the clubs is agreed, thought to be an upfront sum of €600,000, for Scales. The only delay in his move to Celtic is the continued involvement of his current side in European competition.

Trailing 2-1 to Flora Tallinn, a failure by Rovers to overcome the deficit in Thursday’s second leg, thereby missing out on the group stages of the Europa Conference League, will trigger his immediate exit ahead of the window closing next week.

Duffy has finally had his international transfer from Northern Ireland rubberstamped by Fifa, clearing the way to feature under his former club boss Kenny.

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