Martin O’Neill and Ryan Giggs go head-to-head on Tuesday evening as the Republic of Ireland and Wales contest three Nations League points in Dublin.
Ireland go into the game without a competitive victory since beating Wales in a World Cup qualifier 12 months ago, while Giggs’ men roared to a 4-1 win over the Irish in UEFA’s new international competition in September.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the talking points surrounding the game.
Promotion to League A still up for grabs
Wales without Bale and Ramsey
The news on Sunday that Gareth Bale had returned to Madrid and would not be travelling to Dublin did not come as a surprise. Bale missed Thursday’s 4-1 friendly defeat to Spain in Cardiff with muscle fatigue, and Real Madrid had made it known they did not want him risked. Wales suffered a further blow on Monday when another of their star men, Aaron Ramsey, pulled out of the match due to family reasons. Wales still have attacking options with the pace and energy of David Brooks and Tom Lawrence complementing Sam Vokes’ ability to hold-up play, but it goes without saying that the absence of Bale and Ramsey weakens them considerably.
Irish patience wearing thin
Response to Spanish inquisition
A month ago, Wales battered the Republic 4-1 in Cardiff and this crop of Welsh players were being hailed far and wide. Since then, Giggs’ side has learned the harsh realities of international football with defeats to Denmark and Spain. The former Manchester United winger was concerned that his team failed to do the basics right against Spain and the response from that sobering defeat will reveal much about the character of his players.