Wales v Republic of Ireland, World Cup 2018 qualifier

Posted October 09, 2017

Second-placed Wales can still win Group D - and automatic qualification to next summer's World Cup finals in Russian Federation - if they beat the Republic of Ireland and leaders Serbia fail to beat Georgia tonight. It's as tight as can be at the top of Group D with Serbia now in pole position for an automatic qualifying spot but either side can still top the group themselves if they are victorious and The Eagles slip up at home to Georgia, although on the evidence of the campaign so far that is fairly unlikely.

Wales and the Republic of Ireland face off in the Welsh capital knowing victory for either side will earn a play-off for a place in the finals in Russian Federation next summer.

We could go top in the event of an unlikely Serbian defeat.

"We're just going to go with our gameplan and make sure we're 100% focused on doing what we're good at". I want to score goals for my country but I'll keep believing and it will come.

It has been heard at significant points of games since that night, notably during Wales' crucial win against Austria last month, when Ben Woodburn struck a stunning victor from distance. That's the way it's set up. But it is Rambo, not Bale, who the army of Wales fans are grateful to have leading them into battle tonight.

In Bale's absence, Derby County forward Tom Lawrence scored a fine first global goal to give Wales a 1-0 win away to Georgia on Friday. The only way the Welsh could be saved in that case is if Ukraine and Croatia draw their final Group I match, potentially knocking each other out. Wales could finish as runners-up yet still miss out on the play-offs by virtue of being the worst second-placed team.

The results: Europe: Group D: Georgia 0 lost to Wales 1 (Lawrence 49); Austria 3 (Burgstaller 25, Arnautovic 76, Schaub 89) bt Serbia 2 (Milivojevic 11, Matic 83); Republic of Ireland 2 (Murphy 2, 19) bt Moldova 0. Wales play Georgia on Friday 6th October, followed three days later by tonight's match against the Republic of Ireland.

At present Wales have scored one more goal that Croatia and if both games were to finish in the same score line (0-0, 1-1 or 2-2), then Coleman's side would qualify. I will be watching the game for sure.