FOOTBALL: Hartson is in line for Wales front role

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The Independent Online
John Hartson's European adventures could take on an international aspect should, as expected, the Wales manager Mike Smith include him in the team to face Bulgaria next week, writes Andy Martin.

The Arsenal teenager, who has featured in the club's Cup-Winners' Cup campaign since his £2.1m transfer from Luton, has been placed on stand- by for the senior side for the European Championship qualifier in Sofia.

He is likely to fill the attacking void should Ian Rush, who pulled a hamstring in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday, and Leicester's Iwan Roberts, fail fitness tests. "If he moves up to the main squad he will play," Smith said.

The Tranmere midfielder Liam O'Brien has been added to the Republic of Ireland squad for next week's European Championship match in Dublin against Northern Ireland, who have called up the Walsall goalkeeper, Trevor Wood - born in Jersey - in place of Nottingham Forest's Tommy Wright.

The Everton midfielder Graham Stuart, who has started just four matches since Joe Royle took over at Goodison Park, has asked for a transfer after being left out of the Merseysiders' squad against Queen's Park Rangers on Saturday.

Lucas Radebe, Leeds United's South African defender, will be out of action for the rest of the season after surgery revealed that he has torn a cruciate ligament.

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