Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wales vs Republic of Ireland

Gareth Bale is expected to feature for Wales when Chris Coleman's side welcome Republic of Ireland for an international friendly on Wednesday.

The Tottenham Hotspur attacker has missed much of pre-season with injury, but speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid has also dampened his involvement.

Wales will not make the World Cup next summer after losing four of their Group A matches in qualification thus far, but Republic of Ireland currently sit level on points with second-place Austria and Sweden in Group C.

Republic of Ireland also enter the match having won two of their last three matches in all competitions, while their only defeat in their last five came against Spain in a friendly last time out.

Wales have also been in strong form in recent months, however, with three wins from their last five matches in all competitions.

West Ham United defender James Collins is struggling to be fit for Wales, while Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is also not expected to take part after picking up an injury while on tour with the Gunners.

West Ham goalkeeper Stephen Henderson could gain his first cap for Republic of Ireland with David Forde on the sidelines, but Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington has been ruled out.

Shane Long should start in attack, however, with the West Bromwich Albion forward likely to be joined by Stoke City's Jonathan Walters in the final third.

Recent form:

Wales: WLWWL
Republic of Ireland: DDWWL

Possible lineups:

Wales: Hennessey; Davies, Gabbidon, Gunter, Ricketts; Bale, Allen, Collison, Bellamy; Church, Vokes

Republic of Ireland: Henderson; O'Shea, St Ledger, Clark, Coleman; McCarthy, Green, Whelan; Long, Walters, McClean

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