John O’Shea is likely to get a starting role when Ireland clash with Wales, considering that Shane Duffy is injured. Duffy has been sidelined for the next six weeks due to an injury to his metatarsal.

The Brighton defender is devastated by the injury as he would have to watch from the stands as the club chases Newcastle United for a chance to win the Championship and promotion to the top flight.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill would have to amend his plans to accommodate the absence of the 25-year old centre back. O’Neill is used to playing Duffy with Ciaran Clark at the back but with the injury Sunderland defender and skipper is likely to be called up.

Ireland are atop Group D but the game against Wales – with Gareth Bale back in the fold – is a crucial one to their World Cup hopes. Wales are keen on getting the required result, as it is a must-win for them to remain hopeful regarding Russia 2018.

Many have asked that O’Shea get national team action, considering the errors of Duffy. There is always a tendency for the player to make mistakes. He did this at Euro 2016 and during his poor start to the season with Blackburn Rovers. However, he has been decent at Brighton, combining with Lewis Dunk.

No doubt, Duffy’s pairing with Clark has been decent and it seems it is the direction O’Neill wants to go after their display against the Moldovan football team and against Georgia. O’Shea and Richard Keogh stared the Serbia affair but he is likely to pair Clark – who by the way has been sterling under Rafa Benitez in the English Championship.

Clark/O’Shea partnership is form and experience – the right mix for the hugely important game. O’Shea is struggling to be at his best under David Moyes but the former Manchester United player should get the job done.