Ireland face into the final two games of Group D in World Cup qualification knowing that anything less than six points will see them saying goodbye to any dreams of qualifying for Russia next summer.
The Boys in Green enjoyed a remarkable start to the campaign, but picking up just one point from the games against Georgia and Serbia last month leave them with an uphill task.
Should Martin O’Neill’s men get over Moldova on Friday, as expected, they then go to Wales for a gargantuan clash to likely determine which team will make the play-offs.
The Boys in Green will need every bit of luck they can come across, and they may well be getting it in spades, as there is a chance that Gareth Bale will miss next Monday’s showdown.
The Real Madrid star has been left out of Los Blancos’s team today, after suffering a calf muscle strain against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.
Zinedine Zidane commented on the situation.
“It’s muscle fatigue, but we don’t like to take any risks.
“There’s no issue between Madrid and the Welsh national team.
“His state of fitness will determine whether he joins up with the national squad or not.” Via the Irish Times.
Should Bale miss out, Ireland’s task in the Cardiff City Stadium will become a whole lot easier.