International Preview: Wales v Republic Of Ireland

It's win or bust - Scotland woe means victory will guarantee Ireland play-off spot

Serbia still lead Group D with 18 points - ahead of Wales on 17 and Republic of Ireland on 16 - and will qualify if they beat Georgia at home on Monday.

With Robbie Brady and James McClean back from suspension, both players were restored to the team.

If Group D table-toppers Serbia, who host Georgia this evening, lose for the second consecutive game, whoever wins the crunch clash between Wales and Ireland will secure an automatic spot in next year's footballing showpiece in Russian Federation.

While Wales are without Bale, O'Neill believes the absence of Coleman is "as big a loss to us".

Fortunately, Wales were also getting rash in their rush to win back possession and kept fouling Ireland players - which allowed for more time wasting.

A win guarantees second place in the group and a place in the play-offs.

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Wales took a good look at the Federation Internationale de Football Association calculation process and decided against playing non-competitive friendly games, where even victories could damage your Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking - Romania another top seed for these World Cup qualifiers - did something similar, while teams like England, Italy and France's rankings have been damaged by playing friendly matches.

Chris Coleman (Wales): "We're on unsafe ground if we go in with a game plan of trying to soak the pressure up for 90 minutes. We'll get in tomorrow morning, prepare for Wales and give it a hell of a go".

Hal Robson-Kanu of Wales tries to control the ball as the Republic of Ireland's David Meyler moves in to challenge. We have to do that - it's our strength.

"The job was to get the three points [against Moldova] no matter what and now we are fully focused and hopefully there will be a big crowd from Ireland". In four matches, Martin O'Neal's wards defeated Austria 1-0 and Moldova 3: 1, and also ended the draw with Serbia 2: 2 and Wales 0-0.

"All I can control is my own group, the players and my staff - that's what I concentrate on and that's what we'll do in this game", said Coleman.

"I felt it was always going to be like this". When we get off to a decent start, the mindset changes a little bit in terms of points. "So let's go for it".

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