Terrible news for Martin O'Neill ahead of crucial World Cup qualifier against Wales 4 years ago

Terrible news for Martin O'Neill ahead of crucial World Cup qualifier against Wales

We'll be struggling to put together a team at this stage.

We are only six days away from Ireland's crucial World Cup qualifier against Wales at the Aviva Stadium.

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A victory here would put Ireland in pole position for automatic qualification, something which has not been the case for many qualifying campaigns over the years.

Thus far, this Ireland side has had an innate ability to grind out important results, none so more than the 1-0 away win against Austria in Vienna.

However, our chances of doing so against Wales is looking more difficult by the day.

Already, there are a number of players who are either missing or doubtful for the tie against Chris Coleman's side.

Ireland's first-choice centre-half partnership of Shane Duffy and Ciaran Clark look set to be absent after the former suffered a broken metatarsal and the latter is set for a scan on a knee injury.

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Robbie Brady is suspended and James McCarthy, Richard Keogh and Harry Arter all have to prove their fitness this week.

If that wasn't bad enough, Ireland's most creative midfielder, Wes Hoolahan, was removed from the field of play during Norwich City's clash with Barnsley today.

The 34-year-old left the fray in the first half and it remains to be seen how serious the injury is.

O'Neill will be hoping that his removal was only precautionary as preparations ramp us this week for the pivotal clash at the Aviva Stadium.