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Ireland host Wales as World Cup qualification campaign resumes

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By Euronews
Ireland host Wales as World Cup qualification campaign resumes

The Republic of Ireland host Wales on Friday in a crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland are currently top of D with Wales third four points behind.

Martin O’Neill will be without injured duo Daryl Murphy and Shane Duffy while Wes Hoolahan, Ciaran Clark and Harry Arter have withdrawn from the squad.

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale and Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey will be in the fold for Wales who are in a must win situation if they have any chance to qualify.

Elsewhere in the group Georgia host Serbia while Austria entertain Moldova.

2010 champions Spain host Israel in Gijon as they look to inch closer to a spot in Russia next year.

Spain lead the way at the top of the group, joint on 10 points with Italy.

Coach Julen Lopetegui has recalled Chelsea’s Pedro to the squad, while Diego Costa, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba, Sergio Ramos and Javi Martinez all return after missing November’s games through injury.

Italy will be confident of victory when they host Albania on the night while Liechtenstein play host to Macedonia.

In Group I, bottom of the table Kosovo will look to pick up their first win in their maiden World Cup campaign since joining the FIFA fold last year.

The tournament minnows entertain third placed Iceland, who enjoyed a stunning run in the European championships in France over the summer.

Iceland are looking make their first ever World Cup finals and will fancy their chances of picking up three points against Europe’s newest footballing nation.

Elsewhere Croatia host Ukraine in a top of the table clash while fourth-placed Turkey take on winless Finland.