LONDON Everton suffered a double blow ahead of next weekend's Liverpool derby with two players injured on duty for Ireland against Wales at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on Friday.
Fullback Seamus Coleman faces a long spell on the sidelines after breaking his leg following a horror challenge from Wales defender Neil Taylor while midfielder James McCarthy pulled out of Friday's game moments before the start with a recurring hamstring injury.
The same injury has restricted McCarthy's recent club appearances and news of his latest setback is likely to further strain the relationship between Everton manager Ronald Koeman and Ireland boss Martin O'Neill, who ignored the Dutchman's plea not to play McCarthy in another qualifier last year, dismissing his unhappiness as "nonsense."
Liverpool host Everton on April 1.
(Reporting by Neil Robinson)