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Craig Cathcart has pulled out of the Northern Ireland squad

Craig Cathcart has pulled out of the Northern Ireland squad

EMPICS Sport

Craig Cathcart has pulled out of the Northern Ireland squad

Craig Cathcart has been forced to pull out of the Northern Ireland squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifying double-header due to injury.

The Blackpool defender is suffering with a knee problem and will miss the matches against Portugal and Luxembourg, the Irish Football Association has announced.

Versatile Aberdeen player Josh Magennis and Kilmarnock defender Rory McKeown have been added to Michael O'Neill's squad for the matches.

Northern Ireland host Portugal in Belfast on Friday and travel to face Luxembourg four days later.

O'Neill's side are fourth in Group F on six points, five behind third-placed Israel and eight adrift of leaders Portugal, having played a game less than the pacesetters.

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