World Cup 2018: Striker Shane Long ruled out for Republic

Shane Long played for more than 80 minutes of the Republic's match against Moldova
Shane Long played for more than 80 minutes of the Republic's match against Moldova
2018 World Cup qualifier: Wales v Republic of Ireland
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Monday, 9 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long has been ruled out of Monday's World Cup qualifier against Wales because of injury.

The 30-year-old Southampton front man played more than 80 minutes of Friday's 2-0 home win over Moldova.

But on the morning of the final Group D match in Cardiff the Republic announced Long's withdrawal with a hip injury.

Nottingham Forest striker Daryl Murphy looks set to start again after scoring both goals against Moldova.

Victory for the Republic could secure automatic qualification and will guarantee a place in the play-offs.

Manager Martin O'Neill has urged his players to win for injured skipper Seamus Coleman, who suffered a double leg break in last March's qualifier against Wales.

"Seamus would be very much to the forefront of our minds," said the Republic manager.

As has been the case during several recent international breaks, the injured Everton full-back was with the Republic squad in Cardiff on Sunday and there is optimism he will fit again by the time of next summer's World Cup finals in Russia.

"He's obviously a class player, a world-class player, he's been essential for us and we've missed him. He's making a good recovery now," added O'Neill.

Coleman sustained his injury after a challenge by Neil Taylor which resulted in the Wales defender receiving a red card in the Dublin game.

Seamus Coleman at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday
Seamus Coleman was with the Republic squad at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday

O'Neill looks for Italy inspiration

O'Neill again called on his players to summon up the spirit and drive which saw them shock Italy in Lille at Euro 2016.

"The approach will be similar to Italy in Lille, a lot of verve and determination and closing them down.

"There's a bit of everything in it, there's a bit of patience too but at the same time we know at the end of the 90 minutes that we've got to find ourselves in front. We're capable of doing that."

Serbia's lead in Group D was trimmed to only one point as they lost against Austria on Friday night and O'Neill says he is not surprised that three teams are now in contention to top the final table.

A home defeat for the Serbs against Georgia would see Wales or the Republic snatching top spot by winning in Cardiff.

"I said from the outset this would be the toughest group. Teams would take points off each other. That's the nature of the business. We knew that from the start."

Scotland's failure to win in Slovenia means the Republic now cannot suffer the fate of triumphing in Cardiff but still ending up as the worst of the nine European group runners-up and thus missing out on the play-offs.

Wales are also missing their big name player as Gareth Bale is ruled out by a calf injury but O'Neill pointed out that they were able to cope without the Real Madrid star as they won in Georgia on Friday night.

"It would be the same if (Lionel) Messi was missing for Argentina. He is a world-class player and he definitely will be missed by Wales.

"We've had our absentees in the past ourselves and we've had to cope and Wales have had to cope without Gareth Bale before."

Group D table

O'Neill has James McClean and Robbie Brady available after they missed Friday's 2-0 win over Moldova because of suspension.

West Brom's McClean could replace Callum O'Dowda despite the Bristol City winger's impressive competitive debut against Moldova.

There is a view that Norwich veteran Wes Hoolahan's extended involvement on Friday could mean him not starting in Cardiff, which may open the door to a Brady recall.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Friday 6th October 2017

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France85211551017
2Sweden85121871116
3Netherlands84131611513
4Bulgaria84041317-412
5Luxembourg8125717-105
6Belarus8125416-125

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland88001831524
2Portugal87012842421
3Hungary8314119210
4Faroe Islands8224415-118
5Andorra8116217-154
6Latvia8107318-153

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany99003833527
2Northern Ireland96121751219
3Czech Rep93331210212
4Norway93151616010
5Azerbaijan9315914-510
6San Marino9009246-440

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia95311910918
2Wales9450135817
3R. of Ireland9441116516
4Austria93331312112
5Georgia9054813-55
6Moldova9027422-182

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland971124121222
2Denmark96121971219
3Montenegro95131881016
4Romania9333119212
5Armenia9207925-166
6Kazakhstan9027525-202

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England97201731423
2Scotland95221510517
3Slovakia9504147715
4Slovenia9423105514
5Lithuania9135719-126
6Malta9018322-191

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain98103533225
2Italy96212081220
3Albania94141012-213
4Israel94051014-412
5Macedonia92251115-48
6Liechtenstein9009135-340

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium87103533222
2Bos-Herze84221981114
3Greece8341115613
4Cyprus8314812-410
5Estonia8224617-118
6Gibraltar8008337-340

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Iceland9612147719
2Croatia9522134917
3Ukraine9522137617
4Turkey94231211114
5Finland9225711-48
6Kosovo9018322-191
View full World Cup Qualifying - European tables

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