Will Keane suffers injury against France as Preston North End left sweating over top scorer

The Preston North End forward was introduced on 68 minutes against France
Will Keane leaves the pitch after picking up an injury Will Keane leaves the pitch after picking up an injury
Will Keane leaves the pitch after picking up an injury

Preston North End forward Will Keane was forced off injured in the Republic of Ireland’s 2-0 defeat to France on Thursday evening.

Introduced on 67 minutes in the European Championship qualifier, Keane was withdrawn 11 minutes later. It was the 30-year-old’s fifth appearance for his country, having earned the call-up on the back of a superb start to the season in PNE colours. Keane has scored four goals for Preston in five league games - and had spoken about his excitement for the France and Netherlands encounters last weekend.

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However, having replaced Norwich City man Adam Idah mid-way through the first half, Keane was unable to continue after going down with an injury. Post-match, Ireland boss Stephen Kenny addressed the blows to both Keane and Stoke City defender Enda Stevens. It would be a shock to him, should either return for Sunday’s match at home to the Netherlands.

“Enda looks like a calf injury and Will an adductor so we'll have to see," said Kenny. “It wouldn't be looking good for either of them in short proximity of course. At this stage, we’d have to say it’s extremely unlikely they will be involved. We've got to consider that and see what we add to the squad, who we add ahead of Sunday, which is a massive game for us.”

Real Madrid star Aurelien Tchouameni opened the scoring on 19 minutes from distance, before substitute Marcus Thuram made it two early in the second half. The defeat left Ireland fourth in Group B at the half-way stage, having lost both matches against France and also suffered defeat to third placed Greece. Ireland’s one win came against Gibraltar - a team they will face again, as well as Greece. There are two clashes against the Netherlands to come this year, with Sunday’s fixture at the Aviva Stadium.

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