Ireland v Wales Preview: Everything you need to know

Where and what time is the game?

Kick-off is at 7.45pm at the Aviva Stadium on Friday (March 24th)

Are there still tickets?

No, the game is sold out. If you don’t have a ticket, the game will be shown live on both RTÉ2 and Sky Sports 1.

What are the latest odds?

Ireland 31/20   Draw 2/1   Wales 21/10

Team news:

Martin O’Neill’s squad has been decimated by injuries.

Wes Hoolahan, Harry Arter, Shane Duffy, Daryl Murphy, Ciaran Clark and Paul McShane are among those on the treatment table, and Robbie Brady will miss out through suspension after picking up a needless yellow card in Vienna last time out.

Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies are all fit for Wales, and Chris Coleman has no fresh injury worries ahead of Friday’s showdown in Dublin.

How will Ireland line up?

Potential XI: Randolph, Coleman O’Shea Keogh Ward, Whelan McCarthy Hendrick, Walters, McClean, Long (4-3-3/4-5-1)

While some fans would like to see John Egan handed a debut, Martin O’Neill is more likely to turn to the experienced John O’Shea in Shane Duffy’s absence.

David Meyler was impressive against Austria, but will probably be backup to Whelan and McCarthy on the night.

Aiden McGeady is in scintillating form with Preston – as is Daryl Horgan – but both are more likely to be used as impact substitutions than starters, with Walters and McClean likely to start out wide.

The opposition:

Wales have won one and drawn three of their four games to date in Group D after reaching the Euro 2016 semi-final last summer. They are currently third in Group D, four points behind Ireland.

While the Welsh – who are ranked 12th in the world – haven’t beaten Ireland in their last six attempts, they haven’t lost a qualifier for a major tournament since 2015.

Chris Coleman has a talented squad at his disposal, and Gareth Bale will be the only world class player on show at the Aviva on Friday night. Wales also have a strong spine, with experienced defenders such as Ashley Williams and Ben Davies, and talented midfielders such as Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Joe Ledley.

Ryan McBride Tribute:

There will be a special tribute to Derry City captain Ryan McBride (27) who sadly passed away suddenly last weekend.

James McClean, who played with McBride at the Brandywell, will wear the number five jersey in honour of his friend and former teammate. Ireland fans are also planning a minute of applause in the fifth minute to honour the centre back.

What have the managers said?

Martin O’Neill: “I think we’ll have to produce a performance like the one against Italy. The players are ready for it.”

Chris Coleman: “We can’t control how the game is billed by everybody else – everybody will sensationalise it. We will prepare as we always prepare.”


Full Ireland squad:

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Keiren Westwood, Colin Doyle

Defenders: Seamus Coleman, Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce, John O’Shea, Andy Boyle, John Egan, Stephen Ward

Midfielders: Aiden McGeady, Glenn Whelan, James McCarthy, Jeff Hendrick, Conor Hourihane, David Meyler, Eunan O’Kane, James McClean, Jonathan Hayes, Daryl Horgan, Callum O’Dowda

Strikers: Jonathan Walters, Shane Long, Kevin Doyle


Slattery’s is hosting the YBIG pre-party in the back bar, where the 12th man jerseys will be on sale!

Written by david_smith

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