Shane Long ruled out of Ireland's crucial clash with Wales

Shane Long has been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland's make or break World Cup qualifier against Wales in Cardiff tonight.

The Southampton striker, who has been struggling with his form of late, is said to have picked up a hip injury.

Daryl Murphy, who scored both goals in Friday's win over Moldova, is expected to spearhead the Irish attack again, but newcomers Sean Maguire or Scott Hogan could now be introduced.

Ireland can still secure automatic qualification, but victory is required to guarantee at least a play-off place.

Wales haven't lost a home in 4 years, but manager Martin O'Neil thinks Ireland can take inspiration from a famous win at Euro 2016.

"Well, we've got 90 minutes in which to try and get a goal," he said.

"I think our approach will be similar to the one that we had against Italy in Lille where we knew before the game that a win was the only thing that mattered for us."

"But we created some chances and finally took one with five minutes to go in an epic game, really.

"I think it's not that far back in the memory that the players shouldn't consider it when we're approaching this game," O'Neill added.


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