Thursday 19 October 2017

Striker Long ruled out of Wales clash with hip problem

Republic of Ireland's Shane Long is out of the Wales game
Republic of Ireland's Shane Long is out of the Wales game

Shane Long is out of the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier showdown with Wales in Cardiff.

Press Association Sport understands the Southampton striker will play no part in Monday evening's winner-takes-all clash at the Cardiff City Stadium because of a hip problem.

Long started Friday night's 2-0 victory over Moldova, which kept Ireland's qualification hopes alive, but it was strike-partner Daryl Murphy who scored both goals in Dublin.

Indeed, Long has not found the back of the net for club or country since February, although his absence will further deplete manager Martin O'Neill's options.

The Republic have scored only 11 goals in their nine Group D games to date and were already without the injured Jonathan Walters.

O'Neill drafted untried trio Scott Hogan, Sean Maguire and Aiden O'Neill into the squad for the October double-header and one or more of them may now have a significant role to play.

Press Association

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