Shane Long has been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland’s crunch qualifier against Wales on Monday night.
Some had called for the striker to be dropped from the starting XI having spurned a number of fantastic opportunities on Friday night versus Moldova, but his exclusion has now been guaranteed following news of an injury ahead of the clash in Cardiff.
Shane Long will miss tonight's game through injury #COYBIG
— Nathan Murphy (@nathanmurf) October 9, 2017
RTÉ Sport’s Tony O’Donoghue has reported that a hip injury is the likely cause of Long’s absence.
— Tony O'Donoghue (@Corktod) October 9, 2017
With Ireland in the ascendency against Moldova on Friday through two early goals from Daryl Murphy, Long had a number of gilt-edged chances to put the game to bed, however he failed to impress and squandered fantastic chances such as the one below:
Shane Long's torment in front of goal is continuing against Moldova. Glorious opportunity pic.twitter.com/eg86QU9noe
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) October 6, 2017
Attention will now, however, shift to who will play instead of the Tipperary man with Murphy the leading candidate to play up front on his own following his impressive performance against the Moldovans while newest squad members Scott Hogan and Sean Maguire are less likely options.
With James McClean and Robbie Brady back in the reckoning following their suspensions, the Boys in Green will possess more of a threat out wide, making Murphy perhaps the ideal man to lead the line if Ireland’s duo on the wings can provide quality ball into the box.
Ireland take on Wales at 7:45pm in Cardiff.