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  • 14 August 2013
  • • 19:45
  • • Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff (Caerdydd)
  • Referee: P. Kralovec
  • • Attendance: 20000

Wales - Ireland Preview: Bale and Keane among absentees as home nations clash

Wales - Ireland Preview: Bale and Keane among absentees as home nations clash

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Giovanni Trapattoni's in-form side travel to Cardiff to take on Chris Coleman's men with plenty of star names missing on both sides, handing fringe players a chance to impress



Gunter, Williams, Gabbidon, Davies
Collison, Allen
Vaughan, Ledley, Robson-Kanu



Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Wilson
McCarthy, Whelan,
Brady, Hoolahan, McClean

Wales' star player Gareth Bale (foot) is ruled out of the fixture despite joining up with the national side for training. He faces a fight to be fit for Tottenham's opening Premier League game of the season.

Elsewhere, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey and West Ham defender James Collins have both withdrawn from the squad with minor injuries.

Swansea full-back Jazz Richards and Brighton midfielder Andrew Crofts have been called up into the squad as replacements.
For Giovanni Trapattoni, record goalscorer Robbie Keane is out with a hip injury, while the Italian tactician has indicated that QPR defender Richard Dunne needs to play regularly in order to be considered for selection.

The Boys in Green suffered a spate of withdrawals ahead of the clash, with Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington pulling out of an Irish squad for the fifth time in 12 months. Key players Sean St Ledger, David Forde, Aiden McGeady and Stephen Quinn are also unavailable.

Trapattoni has included Yeovil Town striker Paddy Madden in his panel after the striker topped the League One goalscoring charts last season and Millwall forward Andy Keogh was another late addition to the squad.

  • Ireland and Wales have played each other a total of 12 times, with each team winning on five occasions.
  • Ireland are unbeaten in their last four encounters against Wales. The last time the Welsh emerged victorious against the Boys in Green was over 20 years ago in a 1992 friendly game at the RDS Arena in Dublin.
  • John O'Shea is the most capped player in the squad and is set to pick up his 90th cap on Wednesday
  • Darren O'Dea is the only member of the Irish squad plying his trade outside of England. The former Celtic and Ipswich Town centre back is now playing in Ukraine after joining Metalurh Donetsk from MLS side Toronto.
  • Wales have won two consecutive competitive games just twice in the last eight years, after following their 2-1 win over Scotland with a 2-0 defeat to Croatia earlier this year.
  • Sixty per cent of Wales' goals in their World Cup qualification campaign have come in the final 15 minutes of matches.

Players to watch

J. Allen

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Liverpool midfielder returns to the Wales setup after a long spell out on the sidelines. His partnership with Aaron Ramsey in the middle of the park looks like a tailor-made axis for Chris Coleman's team but Allen must dictate his side's tempo alone against the Irish on Wednesday. If he can help provide the hosts with a smooth transition from defence to attack, they could walk away with a result.

S. Long

Position: Attacker

Games: 1

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The West Brom striker faces stiff competition at the Hawthorns for first-team football this season. Wednesday night's game against Wales could prove a good opportunity for the Irishman to stake a claim ahead of Nicholas Anelka and Matej Vydra. He scored a fine header in Ireland's last international against Ireland and should be on the scoresheet again if he can replicate that level of performance.

Editor's Prediction

Ireland picked up an impressive draw against England at Wembley last time out and are notoriously hard to break down under the organisation of Giovanni Trapattoni. Chris Coleman's men have enough about them going forward, even without the likes of Bale and Ramsey, to perhaps edge the contest. We should see a tight match with very little seperating the two teams.

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