Republic of Ireland's Shane Long ruled out against Wales with injury

Wales and Ireland clash in a crucial World Cup qualifier that could determine who tops Group D if Serbia falter against Georgia.

Wales and the Republic of Ireland go head-to-head at the Cardiff City Stadium tonight.

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.

Spain are three points clear at the top of their World Cup qualifying group and will seal their spot in Russian Federation on Friday if they better Italy´s result against Macedonia.

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The Republic Ireland have to beat Wales tonight if they are to have any chance of making it to the World Cup.

- Wales have won just one of their last 11 matches against the Republic of Ireland (W1 D4 L6) and none of the last eight.

A draw could also work for the Welsh depending on other results - but in reality this is a game both sides need to win.

The ploy paid of swiftly and handsomely as 34-year-old Murphy poked home a second-minute opener and then helped himself to a second with an expertly-directed header with just 20 minutes gone, and that proved enough to send his side to Cardiff with everything still to play for.

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Though the same could be said for Wales who pinned Ireland back early on with Hal Robson-Kanu headed a corner wide after three minutes and Randolph had to tip an Aaron Ramsey shot over.

'What happened to Seamus was unfortunate but I don't think it will have a bearing on this game, ' said Coleman.

Elsewhere in Group E, Denmark were held 1-1 by Romania in Copenhagen after Ciprian Deac's late header cancelled out Christian Eriksen's second-half penalty, but the point was enough to secure the Dane's play-off place. "You can say what you like about the tactics and how good it is to watch and how entertaining it is, but you can't question the commitment of these players". We'll go and attack, go and score goals.

If both Wales and Croatia draw, then the two will be level on points and goal difference, with number of goals scored deciding which of them progresses. 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.

Louis Weather Conditions and Forecast, October 3 am
Tonight , there is a 70 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1 a.m., according to the weather service. MONDAY: Mostly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms by evening.

  • Jill Young