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The Republic of Ireland sealed an important three points in their battle for qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as Daryl Murphy notched a brace against Moldova last night. Neil Taylor flew into a shocking challenge on Seamus Coleman.

"We are halfway there", Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey said.

"I don't know about revenge but the view among the players is that if Russian Federation was available for us, then Seamus would be in the forefront of our thoughts".

"He is making a good recovery now, but I think that when he's ready, he will get back to the form he showed both for club and country, and it would be nice if by the time he is back that he has got something to cheer on the global level".

With Wales and Ireland both in with a chance of qualifying for the finals automatically after Serbia lost against Austria on Friday, the stakes could not be higher for what promises to be a highly charged occasion.

Of the three qualified teams, O'Neill's side are ahead of Denmark and behind the Italians.

"We wanted to finish with two wins".

O'Neill took a gamble in playing Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda against Moldova but the 22-year-old winger added a dimension of skill and energy to Ireland. It was a physical game out there [Dublin], it was unfortunate with Seamus and Tayls, it was a awful situation, for Seamus mainly, but it's good to see he is back and not far off, Ashley Williams speaks very highly of him. He's been missing and in my mind, he's as big a loss to us as Gareth Bale is to Wales.

MARTIN O'NEILL will remain in charge of Ireland for the Euro 2020 campaign.

It will be intriguing to see who comes out on top in the clash of these two physical players.

When asked about the team photo during last year's European championships, Gareth Bale - who was absent from the game in Tbilisi - claims he has no idea what reporters meant.

Wales got by without Bale, but know there's still work to do before plans can be made for Russian Federation.

The odd ending to the qualifying group means Ireland and Wales can both finish in first, second and third.

"Now talking about Wales, we go and apply ourselves, really play very strongly and resolutely, and I think we can win the match".

Situations in other groups are beyond our control but it's beginning to look like at least one group will go in our favour. On 12 minutes, O'Dowda went close with a shot after a well-worked move and three minutes later the Bristol City man did really well to move into a risky position and pull the ball back for Shane Long, but his right-footed shot was wide of the target, only threatening the water bottles sitting outside of Ilie Cebanu's goal.


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