Wales - Ireland Preview: Bale and Keane among absentees as home nations clash
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
By Husmukh Kerai
Gunter, Williams, Gabbidon, Davies
Vaughan, Ledley, Robson-Kanu
Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Wilson
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Elsewhere, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey and West Ham defender James Collins have both withdrawn from the squad with minor injuries.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.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- 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.
Top 3 Predictions
Wales 0-2 Ireland Republic
- 12.2 %
Wales 1-1 Ireland Republic
- 9.76 %
Wales 1-2 Ireland Republic
- 8.54 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||15-Aug-2013||Wales 0 - Ireland Republic 0|
|Home Nations Cup (HNC)||09-Feb-2011||Ireland Republic 3 - Wales 0|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||17-Nov-2007||Wales 2 - Ireland Republic 2|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||24-Mar-2007||Ireland Republic 1 - Wales 0|
|06-Mar-2014||Wales 3 - Iceland 1||FR|
|16-Nov-2013||Wales 1 - Finland 1||FR|
|16-Oct-2013||Belgium 1 - Wales 1||WCQE|
|12-Oct-2013||Wales 1 - Macedonia FYR 0||WCQE|
|11-Sep-2013||Wales 0 - Serbia 3||WCQE|
|-||Owain Fon Williams||Goalkeeper|
|-||Craig Martin Davies|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed