Sports

Wales and Republic of Ireland battle in World Cup qualifier

Wales and Republic of Ireland battle in World Cup qualifier

The game will kick-off at 19:45 at the Cardiff City Stadium in Wales.

Wales boss Chris Coleman made only one change to the side which won 1-0 in Georgia on Friday evening with Hal Robson-Kanu replacing Sam Vokes up front for the crunch Group D clash.

It's all to play for, as both teams could still automatically qualify - or reach the play-offs.

Should Wales win and Serbia fail to beat Georgia, Coleman's men would qualify automatically for Russian Federation 2018.

The Irish, who can secure second spot in Group D and a playoff spot with victory over Wales, must cope without the 30-year-old Long, who played against Moldova on Friday and has won more than 70 global caps. There's no doubt they will travel in their thousands and as I say, it's going to be like a cup final, we need to go there and win and we will be looking to do that. The thinking is that as a result of the tune being stopped, the Red wall of supporters would create a attractive a cappella version of the song that would really get the player's up for the occasion.

Ramsey saw a late strike drift into the arms of Randolph as Wales failed to issue a response and Ireland celebrated getting their name into the hat for next Tuesday's play-off draw.

More news: Black Stars draw against Cranes in World Cup qualifier

"I think if you ask any striker and they go through this stage, it just won't go in for them, but hopefully the ball will come and hit me in the face and into the goal and it'll kick on from there". First let's dispense with the groups where second place is assured of a playoff spot. A point may be OK, but we'll go for three points. I want to score goals for my country but I'll keep believing and it will come.

And a win on Monday could take them to their first World Cup since 1958.

Before the defeat, Coleman called the current Wales squad a "golden generation", telling the Daily Telegraph: "I fought against it when they were labelled the "golden bunch" before we qualified for the Euros but now they've earned it".

Meanwhile, a win for Ireland and they sneak above Wales and into the playoffs.

Switzerland lead by three points at the top of Group B but Portugal have a better goal difference so a win for Cristiano Ronaldo's side will see them top the group. "The confidence will do us the world of good going into Monday".


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