Ireland assemble minus a few ahead of Wales showdown

Roy Keane insists that Ireland have no special plan to deal with Gareth Bale

Republic of Ireland have been hit by a series of injuries ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifier against Wales on Friday evening.

Newcastle striker Daryl Murphy, who scored the equaliser against Serbia last September is also a major doubt and has been sent for a scan on a calf strain, while Everton midfielder James McCarthy's hamstring injury will be assessed when he joins up with the squad later today.

And as the Republic squad trained for the first time in Abbotstown on Monday morning, O'Neill admitted the growing injury list is a big concern.

Brighton and Newcastle defenders Shane Duffy and Ciaran Clark will both miss the visit of Wales, as well as Wes Hoolahan and Harry Arter.

O'Neill said: "It's the lengthiest list of injuries we've had in my time here".

But this Wales team are a very strong unit and it looks as though they will have a full-strength squad to choose from for the trip to Dublin with talisman Gareth Bale back to full fitness and form, while other key players like Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Ashley Williams and Wayne Hennessey are all available for selection.

Republic of Ireland SquadGoalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Keiren Westwood, Colin Doyle Defenders: Seamus Coleman, Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce, John O'Shea, Andy Boyle, John Egan, Stephen Ward. He took a bit of a knock but if he doesn't train tomorrow then he will train Wednesday. It's bad news for us and for his club.

The group-leaders head into Friday night's clash holding a four-point gap over Wales in third but their task has been complicated by a number of injuries. James McCarthy is also a doubt for the game.

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