2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Republic of Ireland Boosted By Striker’s Return To Training

Republic of Ireland have been boosted by the return of striker Shane Long to training ahead of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales.

The 30-year old Southampton striker missed Monday and Tuesday’s sessions due to a leg injury but the former Reading and West Brom player returned to training on Wednesday and is now expected to be available for Friday’s must-win game against Moldova.

Injury-doubts James McCarthy (knee) and Harry Arter (calf) trained on Wednesday but they are unlikely to start against Moldova.

One man that’s expected to miss out on the two qualifiers altogether is Burnley forward Jonathan Walters, who is absent because of a knee injury. Club teammate Robbie Brady is suspended for the first game against Moldova alongside West Brom winger James McClean.

Republic of Ireland have to win at home against Moldova and then beat Wales to have a chance of making the 2018 FIFA World Cup play-offs in the European section.