Predictions

British Isle derby

The FIFA World Cup qualifiers resume this weekend with a local British Isle derby kicking things off.

 

Wales travel to the Republic of Ireland looking to close the gap at the top of Group D to a point.

 

Team News

 

Martin O Neil is facing a squad selection crisis with serval key players out injured.

 

Daryl Murphy and Shane Duffy were sent home with injuries. Everton midfielder, James McCarthy is a doubt for the match but could still be fit enough to feature off the bench.

 

Harry Arter, Ciaran Clark and Wes Hoolahan all withdrew from the Republic squad after picking up injuries last weekend.

 

Burnley’s Robbie Brady misses this match through suspension.

 

Wales boss, Chris Coleman has Ben Davies back after missing the last International fixture through injury.

 

Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsay are also fit after missing domestic matches in recent weeks with injury.

 

Ben Woodburn could make his Welsh debut here after wowing in his sporadic Liverpool appearances this season.

 

Must Win

 

Both sides need the three points here for different reasons. Ireland are top of the table and could stretch it to a five point lead, should Serbia lose to Georgia earlier in the evening.

 

Victory for Wales will see them close the gap to their rivals and potentially see the top three split by just two points.

 

Only countries finishing top of their group will automatically head off to Russia next summer. The best eight second place finishers must contest a playoff to see if they will also be heading to the World Cup.

 

With this in mind, Wales need to beat ROI then Serbia in June to maintain any hopes of qualification or play offs.

 

Prediction

 

With so much at stake, both teams will go for the win in what promises to be an entertaining match.

 

There has only been two goalless draw between these sides over the years so expect plenty of goals. Both sides have won five times with three draws so this is anyone’s for the taking.

 

The match should be scruffy and can see Wales just coming through in a thriller.

 

Prediction: ROI 2-3 Wales

Result: ROI 0-0 Wales

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