Ireland saw off the challenge of Moldova on Friday night to set up a final runners-up showdown with Wales on Monday.
Both sides need to win the game to stand a chance of making the playoffs, and manager Martin O’Neill has called on his players to show the same fighting spirit that they displayed against Italy in Lille to progress to the last 16 of Euro 2016.
Speaking after the 2-0 win at the Aviva, O’Neill insists his players can handle the pressure and get what they need in Cardiff:
“Now talking about Wales, we go and apply ourselves, really play very strongly and resolutely, and I think we can win the match.
“I felt it was always going to be like this. When we got off to a decent start, the mindset changes a little bit in terms of points.
“But if you said to me right at the beginning when the group was called that we had to go to Wales and win, and we were down as fourth seeds, I would have taken it. So let’s go for it.
“We changed the side around to give ourselves energy in a big, big game in Lille and it paid off.
“If you look at the big matches, I think we have taken a lot of risks. And we may have to do it again.”
Two first half goals from Daryl Murphy set the Boys in Green on the road to victory in Dublin, and has surely earned the right to start in Wales. O’Neill will also be boosted by the returning James McClean and Robbie Brady.
In this week’s edition of the Mixer Football Podcast we discuss the timing of Martin O’Neill’s new contract, look at a massive weekend for the Ireland national side as well as the usual analysis of the latest League of Ireland action.