Wales and the Republic of Ireland head into a winner-takes-all clash on Monday in their final World Cup qualifier in Group D.
Scotland’s draw with Slovenia helped the Irish on Sunday night in their quest for qualification knowing a win will now guarantee a place in the play-offs.
Wales, however, know a win will also see them into the play-offs after Bosnia-Herzegovina lost to Belgium on Saturday evening and Slovakia finished ahead of the Scots.
However, the red card received by Neil Taylor following his horrific challenge on Ireland captain Seamus Coleman last March could have dire consequences should the Welsh draw the game.
Wales could end up with an identical record to Croatia as ‘worst’ runners-up with a points tally of twelve, the same goal difference and same goals scored should it end all square on Monday.
Fair play could come into effect with Taylor’s card a negative for the Welsh. Wales are in a worse position than Croatia when it comes to their discipline, as detailed by WalesOnline:
“As things stand Wales’ disciplinary record is worse than Croatia’s. Chris Coleman’s men have accrued 13 yellow cards during the nine qualifiers thus far, plus Taylor’s red.
“The players who have been booked are Joe Allen (twice), Gareth Bale (two), Jazz Richards, Tom Lawrence, Hal Robson-Kanu, Andy King, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Ledley, Ben Davies, Ashley Williams and James Chester.
“Croatia have nine yellow cards and one indirect red, Ivan Perisic who was sent off for two yellows against Iceland.
“FIFA award one point for a yellow, three for the Perisic situation of two yellows, four for a direct red like Taylor’s and five for a player already on a yellow who then gets a direct red.”
Chris Coleman will, however, be hoping to ensure his players strive for maximum points against Martin O’Neill’s men and end any confusion a draw might bring about.
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena