Stuart Dallas Northern Ireland latest ahead of crucial World Cup qualifiers after Leeds United man picks up knock

Leeds United midfielder Stuart Dallas will join up with Northern Ireland for their crunch World Cup Qualifying games against Switzerland and Bulgaria, despite limping out of the win over Watford on Saturday.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 1:31 pm
JOINING UP - Stuart Dallas has left Leeds United to be part of the Northern Ireland squad despite limping out of the Watford game at Elland Road. Pic: Getty

Dallas left the game after 78 minutes having been heavily involved in a huge number of attacks - the 30-year-old mustered five of the Whites' 20 shots at goal but was unable to find the net.

He went down needing treatment with less than a quarter of an hour to go and although he left the pitch under his own steam, was clearly in some discomfort as he made his way around the perimeter to the dugout.

Marcelo Bielsa was unable to offer any detail on the Ulsterman's injury after the game but the YEP understands Dallas is still reporting for Northern Ireland duty.

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His presence in the squad will come as a huge boost for Ian Baraclough, who was without Dallas and a number of his other senior players for last month's fixtures.

Dallas pulled out of that squad due to personal reasons and was unable to add to his 56 caps as Northern Ireland beat Lithuania in a World Cup Qualifying game, secured a friendly win over Estonia and a 0-0 draw at Windsor Park against their rivals for second spot in Group C, Switzerland.

In Dallas' absence, Baraclough called on Leeds youngster Alfie McCalmont, who is on loan for the season at Morecambe. The 21-year-old came off the bench to help see out the final minutes against Lithuania and then made his full debut against Estonia, playing the full 90 minutes.

McCalmont has returned to the Northern Ireland Under 21 squad for this month's Euro qualifiers against Russia and Spain.

Leeds' Under 23s midfielder Charlie Allen will also be in international action for Northern Ireland. He is part of the Under 19 squad set to play the Czechs, Denmark and Kazakhstan in a four-team mini tournament from October 6.