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Ireland U21s to face USA and Russia

Republic of Ireland Under-21s boss Noel King will test the depth of his squad in friendlies against the United States and Russia in Spain in the coming days.

King's initial party has been depleted by injury, but that will mean there are opportunities for other players to work their way into contention for the start of the new European Championship qualifying campaign next season during the trip to Marbella.

King said: "It's unfortunate for the players who have had to drop out, but it gives an opportunity to the players who've come in to show what they can do.

"These games are going to be excellent tests for the squad as we continue to build towards the next qualifying campaign."

Leeds keeper Eric Grimes, Shelbourne winger Dylan Connolly and Reading midfielder Liam Kelly have been drafted into the squad as replacements for injured trio Ian Lawlor, Sean Kavanagh and Darragh Lenihan.

King's side face the United States at the San Pedro Stadium on Saturday afternoon and then Russia at the Marbella Football Centre on Monday evening.

The manager travelled out ahead of his players to watch the Americans get the better of the Russians in a 4-3 thriller on Wednesday.

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