The Republic of Ireland squad for the World Cup qualifying tie against Wales on Friday and friendly versus Iceland on Tuesday has been cut from 39 to 28 by manager Martin O’Neill.
Injuries to Ciaran Clark, Harry Arter, Paul McShane, Rob Elliot, David McGoldrick and Liam Kelly have ruled them out of the squad. Meanwhile, Darron Gibson, Adam Rooney, Anthony Pilkington, Matt Doherty and Stephen Gleeson were those not selected for the games from O’Neill’s provisional squad.
Wes Hoolohan picked up a knock playing for Norwich this weekend and remains a doubt for the clash with Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Friday. This will come as a cause for some concern to Irish fans as the squad is thin enough with regard strength in depth compared to usual standards.
Robbie Brady, who picked up a hat-trick of awards at the FAI awards ceremony for 2016 (player of the year, young player of the year, and goal of the year for that header in Lille), is unavailable for the Wales tie due to suspension. Shane Duffy is still carrying a foot injury he picked up playing for Brighton last month and is not included in the squad.
The clash against the Gareth Bale led Euro 2016 semi-finalists is a crucial one in the hunt for an automatic qualification spot for the tournament in Russia in 2018, with Ireland currently sitting on top of the group on 10 points, 2 clear of Serbia and 4 clear of Wales.
The squad in full is as follows:
Goalkeepers – Darren Randolph, Keiren Westwood, Colin Doyle
Defenders – Seamus Coleman, Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce, John O’Shea, Andy Boyle, John Egan, Stephen Ward
Midfielders – Aiden McGeady, Glenn Whelan, James McCarthy, Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady, Conor Hourihane, David Meyler, Eunan O’Kane, Wes Hoolahan, James McClean, Jonathan Hayes, Daryl Horgan, Callum O’Dowda
Forwards – Jonathan Walters, Shane Long, Daryl Murphy, Kevin Doyle.