Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Martin O'Neill confirms Wes Hoolahan out of Wales qualifer

Martin O'Neill confirms Wes Hoolahan out of Wales qualifer

MARTIN O'NEILL has cut down his 39-man squad ahead of Friday's crucial World Cup qualifier against Wales.

Republic boss Martin O'Neill has a major selection headache with first-choice central defensive pairing, Shane Duffy and Ciaran Clark, both already ruled out.

He is bracing himself for more gloomy news with Everton midfielder James McCarthy still nursing a hamstring strain and Newcastle striker Daryl Murphy undergoing a scan on a calf problem.

Lawrence will also miss the match due to a groin injury and has been replaced by Liverpool's Harry Wilson.

And as the Republic squad trained for the first time in Abbotstown this morning, he was keeping his fingers crossed over a series of other concerns.

The FAI confirmed on Sunday night that Martin O'Neill's squad for the game had been reduced to 28 players, although Wes Hoolahan - who joined up with the squad despite coming off injured for Norwich at the weekend - remains in the panel.

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

Ireland will be without six players for Friday night's key Group D clash with Wales in Dublin.

Skipper Seamus Coleman sat out training with a swollen ankle, but O'Neill is confident he will be fit to face the Welsh. If he doesn't train tomorrow, he'll train on Wednesday, so he'll be okay.

On Monday afternoon, the news got even worse.

News of Daryl Murphy was not so encouraging for the Irish. "There are some very important players for us going for scans which doesn't sound great".

Unbeaten Ireland now top Group D with 10 points from their opening four qualifiers with the Welsh four points behind in third place.

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