James McCarthy ruled out of Wales game at last minute

David Meyler comes into midfield after Everton player pulls up in warm-ups

James McClean and Robbie Brady ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Wales at thne Aviva Stadium. Photograph:   Ryan Byrne/Inpho

James McClean and Robbie Brady ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Wales at thne Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

The Republic of Ireland were hit by injury just before the kick-off of tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Wales when James McCarthy pulled up in the warm-up ahead of the game at the Aviva Stadium.

The Everton midfielder had been a doubt all week, although manager Martin O’Neill remained positive and named McCarthy in his starting line-up just over an hour before the start of the game.

But just before the teams came out for the anthems, it was announced that Hull midfielder David Meyler had replaced McCarthy in the starting XI.

McCarthy also missed the 1-0 win away to Austria last November, with O’Neill making five changes from that game. Meyler replaced Glenn Whelan after 23 minutes of the game in Vienna.

With a number of injuries hampering the squad, especially in central defence, O’Neill has included Richard Keogh and John O’Shea at centre back.

Stephen Ward comes in for the suspended Robbie Brady at left back, while Shane Long replaces the injured Wes Hoolahan, with Jonathan Walters dropping back into midfield.

Ireland’s bench includes three players yet to win an international cap in Brentford defender John Egan, Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane and Preston winger Daryl Horgan.

Wales have named the same side that beat Belgium 3-1 in last summer’s European Championship quarter-final

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale will play behind striker Hal Robson-Kanu, while Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey plays in midfield.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (v Wales) (4-5-1): Randolph; Coleman (capt), R Keogh, O’Shea, Ward; Walters, Hendrick, Whelan, McCarthy, McClean; Long.

Subs: Westwood, C Doyle, Christie, Pearce, Egan, Meyler, Hourihane, McGeady, Horgan, Hayes, O’Dowda, K Doyle.

WALES (v Republic of Ireland): Hennessey; Gunter, Chester, A Williams, Davies, Taylor; Allen, Ramsey, Ledley; Bale, Robson-Kanu

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