A tale of two nations: what happens before Wales-Rep. of Ireland clash

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There’s a prospectively huge clash between Wales and the Republic of Ireland on Monday evening.

We say prospectively because, first, both sides must overcome their respective opponents on Friday night.

Wales must go to Georgia and win, while the Republic of Ireland have their own vital game with Moldova in Dublin.

Should both get the desired results, it will go to a winner-takes-all clash at the Cardiff City Stadium to see who takes second spot.

Chris Coleman’s side face a very tricky task in Tbilisi. Georgia will be on the crest of a medium-sized wave having bagged a point in their last game against Austria in Vienna.

The Welsh are also without their talismanic captain Gareth Bale. The Real Madrid star has had to pull out of the final two fixtures with an injury.

While the Dragons remain unbeaten in the group away from home, the Georgians will be no pushovers.

They nabbed their first-ever point against the Republic in that 1-1 draw at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena.

With a vociferous support behind them, the home side are notoriously difficult to play against.

Add the fact that Wales have failed to beat Georgia in four previous attempts and things look pretty dicey. We wouldn’t be banking on a victory.

It should be a little more straightforward for the Irish. They host Moldova – bottom of the group – at the Aviva Stadium.

Martin O’Neill’s side are in pretty awful form with just one win over Uruguay to count in the last 12 months.

The Boys In Green are also with the suspended Robbie Brady and James McClean, too.

However, they should have enough in the tank to get the win here. Moldova’s FIFA world ranking of 156 tells you all you need to know.

The previous game between these two ended in a 3-1 success to the Republic.

The home side have a fantastic record at the Aviva, losing just once in competitive games under MON.

In front of a baying Dublin crowd, O’Neill and the Irish should be able to count on a win.

All Odds and Markets correct as of the time of publication

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Cian Carroll

Starting life as a football columnist for his local paper in Dundalk, Cian has written for a number of media outlets with pieces published in The Birmingham Mail and Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo. A lover of football, GAA, boxing, rugby and MMA, he’s a big Aston Villa and Dundalk fan. He can be regularly spotted on various mountain tops.