Irish lose Staunton

Jack Charlton's options for the Republic of Ireland's European Championship play-off against the Netherlands were further reduced yesterday when Steve Staunton withdrew from tomorrow night's match at Anfield, writes Guy Hodgson.

The Aston Villa midfielder pulled a hamstring in a practice game against Wrexham yesterday morning and has no chance of being fit. "It's the reason we had the match," said Charlton, the Irish manager, who is already without Roy Keane and Niall Quinn. "We had to make sure that people who had not played so much this season would be right for Wednesday."

Quinn's place will be taken by Tony Cascarino, who since his move to French football with Marseille is feeling "fitter, faster and more confident with my touch".

The Dutch have been reinforced by the return to fitness of Dennis Bergkamp. The Arsenal striker has been suffering from an injured calf, but a week in the Netherlands has proved recuperative.

Selection dilemma over Bergkamp, page 26