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Hughes misses N. Ireland qualifier

  • Story Highlights
  • Aaron Hughes misses N. Ireland's Euro 2008 home tie against Liechtenstein
  • Injured Fulham defender Hughes replaced by West Ham's George McCartney
  • Wales name Gareth Bale in squad for friendly against Bulgaria despite injury
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LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Northern Ireland will be without Fulham defender Aaron Hughes for the Euro 2008 qualifier at home against Liechtenstein on August 22.

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Fulham defender Aaron Hughes misses Northern Ireland's Euro 2008 qualifier at home against Liechtenstein.

Hughes, who injured his ankle during pre-season, was left out of a 21-man squad named on Monday by coach Nigel Worthington.

West Ham United's George McCartney has been called up to replace Hughes.

Northern Ireland can go second, above Spain, in Group F with victory over Liechtenstein. Sweden top the group.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Maik Taylor (Birmingham City); Roy Carroll (Rangers); Alan Mannus (Linfield).

Defenders: Michael Duff (Burnley); Chris Baird (Fulham); Gareth McAuley (Leicester City); Stephen Craigan (Motherwell); Jonathan Evans (Manchester United); Tony Capaldi (Cardiff City); George McCartney (West Ham United).

Midfielders: Damien Johnson (Birmingham City); Keith Gillespie (Sheffield United); Steven Davis (Fulham); Sammy Clingan (Nottingham Forest); Chris Brunt (Sheffield Wednesday); Steve Jones (Burnley); Grant McCann (Barnsley).

Forwards: Warren Feeney (Cardiff City); David Healy (Fulham); Kyle Lafferty (Burnley); Ivan Sproule (Bristol City).

Hamburg defender Vincent Kompany returned to the Belgium squad on Monday following a 10-month absence when he was included for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Serbia later this month.

Belgium coach Rene Vandereycken also picked uncapped Standard Liege goalkeeper Olivier Renard and uncapped Lille striker Kevin Mirallas for the Group A tie in Brussels on August 22.

Anderlecht forward Mbo Mpenza is recalled after missing the June qualifiers against Portugal and Finland. He replaces his brother Emile whose club Manchester City want him to play more matches for them before playing any further international games.

Poland lead the group on 19 points from nine matches with Serbia, Portugal and Finland all five points behind in second. But the Serbs and Portuguese both have two games in hand, while the Finns have played just one game less than the Poles.

Belgium have seven points from eight outings.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Stijn Stijnen (Club Bruges), Logan Bailly (Racing Genk), Olivier Renard (Standard Liege)

Defenders: Carl Hoefkens (WBA), Nicolas Lombaerts (FC Zenith), Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich), Jelle Van Damme (Anderlecht), Thomas Vermaelen (Ajax), Vincent Kompany (Hamburg), Anthony Vanden Borre (Fiorentina), Mark De Man (Anderlecht)

Midfielders: Philip Clement (Club Brugge), Karel Geraerts (Club Bruges), Timmy Simons (PSV Eindhoven), Gaby Mudingayi (Lazio), Steven Dufour (Standard Liege), Maarten Martens (AZ Alkmaar)

Forwards: Mbo Mpenza (Anderlecht), Francois Sterchele (Club Bruges), Moussa Dembele (AZ Alkmaar), Kevin Mirallas (Lille).

Wales manager John Toshack included injured teenager Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Freddy Eastwood in his squad to play Bulgaria next week.

Bale, 18, who joined Tottenham in a reported 10 million pounds ($20.23 million) deal from Southampton, has yet to make a competitive appearance for his new club due to knee and thigh problems.

Eastwood, 23, who joined Wolves from Southend United, is set to win his first cap in the friendly fixture in Bourgas.

The game is a warm-up for Euro 2008 qualifers against Germany in Cardiff on September 8 and an away game in Slovakia on September 12.

Toshack has said he is aware of Bale's injury problems but is prepared to wait and see if he recovers. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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