Jamie Ward, Stuart Dallas withdraw from Northern Ireland squad

Wide men Jamie Ward and Stuart Dallas have withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad to face Azerbaijan in the World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Ward, currently on loan at Burton, broke his wrist against Barnsley at the weekend and is expected to be out for several weeks while Dallas will return to Leeds to continue his recovery from a calf problem.

The 25-year-old has been absent since suffering the injury against San Marino in early October, and his lack of game time at Elland Road made his withdrawal inevitable, with Michael O'Neill admitting it would be a risk to include him.

The Irish Football Association confirmed no replacements have been called up as O'Neill prepares his squad for the game in Belfast, with Azerbaijan currently three points ahead in Group C.