International friendly: Wales v Republic of Ireland meet in Cardiff
Republic of Ireland will not have to face Gareth Bale when they take on Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium.
By Tim Oscroft
Last Updated: 14/08/13 12:17pm
Ireland will not have to face Gareth Bale when they take on Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium.
A foot injury has ruled out the Tottenham winger, currently at the centre of one of the summer's biggest transfer sagas.
But that is of little interest to Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni, who will look to this friendly to take assess his options with two crucial World Cup qualifiers on the horizon.
"I am a sports fan, I have 50 years in football," he said. "It is a shame for Wales and all football fans. He is the sort of player everyone loves.
"For us it is okay and I can say we are lucky he is not playing. But I understand the situation, what is important for Bale and Real Madrid whether he goes there or not."
The Irish face Sweden and Austria in next month's Group C double-header, with the three countries currently level on 11 points behind Germany, and Trapattoni will be keen to see how his players are shaping up.
His Welsh counterpart, Chris Coleman, must also do without Aaron Ramsey and James Collins as well as Bale.
With hopes of qualifying for Brazil next year almost certainly gone, Coleman will use the meeting in Cardiff as part of his plans to improve his country's fortunes in the longer term.
The two nations have met 12 times before, perhaps a surprisingly low figure given their close proximity, with the record standing at five wins each and two draws. However, Wales have not beaten the Irish on home soil since a 2-1 win in Swansea in 1979.Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and James Collins have been ruled out for Wales.
Bale is out with a foot injury, Ramsey had been nursing an ankle injury, while Collins has been sidelined by a knee problem.
Swansea full-back Jazz Richards and Brighton midfielder Andrew Crofts have been called up as replacements.
Keiren Westwood will start in goal, with David Forde ruled out by injury.
Norwich's Wes Hoolahan is also handed a start, playing in the hole behind striker Shane Long.
Ireland: Westwood, Coleman, Clark, O'Shea, Wilson, Walters, McCarthy, Whelan, Brady, Hoolahan, Long.