SportSoccer

Wes Hoolahan latest player ruled out of crucial Wales clash

SoccerBy Sunday World
Hoolahan
Hoolahan

Martin O'Neill has confirmed that Wes Hoolahan will miss Friday night's crucial World Cup qualifier against Wales.

The Norwich schemer joins a long list of players unavailable to the manager for the big game at Aviva this week.

Harry Arter, Rob Elliot, Paul McShane, Ciaran Clark, Liam Kelly, David McGoldrick and Shane Duffy miss out through various injuries while Robbie Brady is suspended.

Daryl Murphy, meanwhile, has emerged as another player who may struggle to make the crucial clash as he was sent for a scan on a calf injury.

In further worrying news, Seamus Coleman and Jonny Hayes both sat out training today. However, word from Abbotstown is that they are not major concerns.

James McCarthy is due in today from Everton and will be assessed by the FAI medical team.

Meanwhile Wales will have star man Gareth Bale back for the game, something Ian Rush believes could be decisive.

"It's massive for Wales that Bale is there after his injury problems," Rush told Press Association Sport.

"He's been the most improved player in the world over the last couple of years and, as we've seen many times before, he is capable of winning a game with a moment of magic.

"Martin O'Neill is a very cautious manager and will do everything he can to stop Wales counter-attacking the Republic.

"But it is almost impossible to keep someone of Gareth's ability quiet for 90 minutes."

Third-placed Wales are still unbeaten in Group D, though their World Cup ambitions hang in the balance following draws with Austria, Georgia and Serbia.

Ireland are also unbeaten but sit on top of the group on 10 points, four clear of Wales.

Bale has already scored four times in the group to move within two of equalling Rush's 28-goal record for Wales.