Newcastle midfielder Damien Duff has been recalled to the Republic of Ireland squad for next week's World Cup qualifier against Cyprus.

The 29-year-old missed last month's victory over Georgia and the draw with Montenegro as he battled to shake off a knee injury, and has been handed an immediate return to a 21-man party by manager Giovanni Trapattoni.

However, Steve Finnan, Steven Reid and Stephen Kelly have not been selected in because of fitness problems.

That will come as a blow to Trapattoni, who named Espanyol full-back Finnan and Blackburn midfielder Reid in the starting line up for both of the opening qualifiers.

There is a return to the squad too for Scunthorpe keeper Joe Murphy, who will provide the back-up to Shay Given and Dean Kiely.

The Republic head into their third Group 8 game, at Croke Park next Wednesday evening, having beaten Georgia 2-1 in Mainz, Germany, and then returned from Montenegro with a hard-earned point after a 0-0 draw in Podgorica.

Cyprus, who face the Georgians in Tbilisi on Saturday - the Ireland game was played at a neutral venue because of the political situation in the former Soviet state - were unfortunate to lose 2-1 at home to world champions Italy in their opening fixture last month.

They have a history with the Republic after a 5-2 victory in Nicosia in October 2006 left Steve Staunton's side facing a losing battle to qualify for Euro 2008.

The sides drew 1-1 at Croke Park in the return game a year later, when Finnan's injury-time strike secured a point, but the damage had already been done.

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Topics:
Steve Finnan
Internationals
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Blackburn Rovers
Scunthorpe United
Dean Kiely
Joe Murphy
Shay Given
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Damien Duff
Stephen Kelly