Ireland's World Cup qualifier squad for Wales game reduced to 27 after more injury woes

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill began preparations for the World Cup qualifier against Wales with a major selection headache threatening to disrupt his plans.

The Republic of Ireland squad has been reduced to 27 as the number of players unable to play now stands at seven.

Wes Hoolahan is the latest withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland squad ahead of Friday's crucial World Cup qualifier with Wales.

The Norwich playmaker had been included in Martin O'Neill's trimmed squad, but has been forced out with a thigh strain. Daryl Murphy underwent a scan to assess a calf injury problem

James McCarthy has linked up with the squad, while new call-ups John Egan and Conor Hourihane trained with the squad for the first time

Manager Martin O'Neill confirmed the list of injuries which includes: Rob Elliot (knee), Paul McShane (hamstring), Ciaran Clark (knee), Liam Kelly (hamstring), Harry Arter (calf), Wes Hoolahan (quad) and David McGoldrick (knee).

With star man Robbie Brady already suspended for Friday night's showdown at the Aviva Stadium, O'Neill has seen first-choice central defensive pairing Shane Duffy and Ciaran Clark, as well as midfielder Harry Arter, succumb to injury.

And as the Republic squad trained for the first time in Abbotstown this morning, he was keeping his fingers crossed over a series of other concerns.

Seamus Coleman and Jonathan Hayes were both nursing ankle problems, but are expected to be fit.

Colorado Rapids striker Kevin Doyle was due to meet up later today.

Unbeaten Ireland currently top Group D with 10 points from their opening four qualifiers with the Welsh four points behind in third place.

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