Sports

McClean fires Ireland to World Cup play-off with vital victory in Cardiff

McClean fires Ireland to World Cup play-off with vital victory in Cardiff

Wales host the Republic of Ireland on Monday night knowing that they can not afford to lose if they want to wrap up a place in the World Cup play-offs.

The game will kick-off at 19:45 at the Cardiff City Stadium in Wales.

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.

Last week Wales were aiming for a playoff place until a shock result for Serbia has Chris Coleman's men suddenly in the running for automatic qualification for Russian Federation 2018.

Ireland are now a point and place behind Wales in Group D with Serbia topping the table.

"Players like Shane Duffy came in and had a big game that night".

Wales are priced up as the 6/5 favourites to claim victory, Republic of Ireland can be backed at 14/5 and the draw is on offer at 21/10. With only eight of the nine group runners-up going through to the elimination round the result in Cardiff could be pivotal for both sides. The country's best-ever player and a real difference maker for Coleman's side. The Dragons are coming from a slim 1-0 away win against Georgia, where a goal by Tom Lawrence led the team with the three points from the game.

Twelve minutes into the second half of their final Group D qualifying fixture, James McClean scored the only goal of a nail-biting encounter with Wales which may not have been pretty, but it was certainly ideal for the Boys in Green. We'll go and attack, go and score goals. It was the first time Wales had fallen behind throughout the entire qualification campaign.

'But if we keep doing what we've been doing, it will give us a chance of having a good night [tonight].' Coleman has dismissed talk of a grudge match after what happened when the sides met in March.

Poland booked their ticket for the finals as a 4-2 home win against Montenegro saw them finish top of Group E. "The most important thing was the win (against Moldova), now on to the big one".

The game kicks off at the same time as the Wales-Ireland, meaning we won't know prior to kick off whether a win will be enough.


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