O'Neill ready to take risks

05 October 2017 13:01:39 EST

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Nell says that he is ready to take a risk to try and ensure making the World Cup qualifying play-offs.

The Irish are in a battle with Wales to finish second in Group D and the teams play each other on Monday in a game which could determine who finishes behind Serbia who need one win from their remaining two games to come top and qualify automatically.

Some young lads come in and just accept the pressure. It's risk and reward. I don't mind risking that.

Martin O'Neill

Wales are a point ahead of the Irish and they play Georgia away on Friday night. At the same time the Republic of Ireland face Moldova in Dublin.

A win there and again in Cardiff on Monday and O'Neill's team will finish at least second and in with a chance of the play-offs to be part of the World Cup finals in Russia next summer.

Ireland are 1/9 to beat Moldova who are 35/1 with the draw priced at 9/1.

As they try and secure the back-to-back victories required, O'Neill is prepared to take a risk which could mean Aston Villa striker Scott Hogan coming into the side.

The Irish have only scored nine goals in their eight qualification games so far and, with that in mind, the manager might look at Hogan to provide more threat up front.

He said: "I wouldn't have a problem, if I thought over the next couple of days that someone could eke out a goal for us.

"Sometimes you might be a bit concerned about throwing a young lad into a big, big game, particularly away from home.

"But by the same token some young lads come in and just accept the pressure. It's risk and reward. I don't mind risking that."

O'Neill does have selection problems for the Moldova game with James McClean and Robbie Brady suspended while Jon Walters, James McCarthy and Harry Arter are all injured and likely to miss out.

The Republic of Ireland are 11/8 to qualify for Russia while Wales are priced at 6/4.

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