Martin O'Neill confident Ireland can win in Cardiff

Shane Duffy

The Brighton centre back has become a mainstay of Ireland's defence over the last year. Source James Crombie INPHO

Ireland and Wales face each other on Monday in a game that will determine which team will not be qualifying for the World Cup, a game in which Wales will be without their talisman Bale due to injury.

Serbia would hope to register a home win against Georgia. In the selection for the national championship in Russian Federation, the national team of Moldova will definitely not fall.

The Georgia win was on Friday secured by Tom Lawrence's superb second-half strike and another victory would represent Wales' best run for 36 years.

Wales have not lost at home in a competitive worldwide since a 3-0 defeat by Serbia in September 2013, but Republic boss Martin O'Neill believes his side have the beating of them. Manager Chris Coleman calls on a midfield of quality and commitment to the cause.

"In my mind, he's as big a loss to us as he is to Wales.

Whatever we have done is not going to help us against Ireland". It is possible both start if one of the forwards - Shane Long or Daryl Murphy - is omitted.

Chances were few and far between but Derby County's Lawrence produced a quality finish to break the deadlock. After a disappointing performance against Georgia, Martin O'Neill may feel Glenn Whelan's time as a regular starter has come to an end. It seems likely, though, that he will be replaced by James McClean, who is also back from suspension.

Republic captain Seamus Coleman had his leg broken by a challenge from Wales defender Neil Taylor in the goalless draw and has not played football since.

Coleman is a combination of motivator and tactician, with closeness to his players serving as a strength during a reign in which he has taken Wales to new heights.

Coleman made clear that his job now is to make sure his team do not freeze when they take to the pitch on Monday night. Teams Republic of Ireland: Randolph (GK), Christie, Clark, Murphy (Arter 77), Long (Maguire 82), O'Dowda, Hendrick, Hoolahan (McGeady 78), Ward, Meyler (C), Duffy.

When asked about the team photo during last year's European championships, Gareth Bale - who was absent from the game in Tbilisi - claims he has no idea what reporters meant. That is reflective of the collective spirit Coleman has developed.

"We're on unsafe ground if we go in with a game plan of trying to soak the pressure up for 90 minutes", said Coleman, who will be without his attacking talisman Gareth Bale due to injury.

Only another three points will be good enough for the Irish and their Welsh counterparts to remain in the hunt, and O'Neill is relishing the showdown at the Cardiff City Stadium.

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