Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey being fully fit for the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Ireland in Dublin on Friday is a real filip for the Euro 2016 semi-finalists, manager Chris Coleman said.
Ramsey, instrumental in Wales’s fairytale run to the last four in France last year, has only been involved in one of their four qualifiers so far.
The 26-year-old Arsenal star’s absence has been keenly felt with the Welsh winning just one of their games and drawing the others to lie four points adrift of table-toppers Ireland.
“In these first four games we’ve only had Aaron in one of them,” Coleman said.
“That’s tough for us, and we’ve only had Joe Allen for two and a bit as well.
“We’re looking forward to having Rambo back. He’s had game time at Arsenal and he’s feeling good.”
Coleman, who declined the offer of taking the managerial job at his home town club Swansea when Bob Bradley was sacked in December, says with the likes of Ramsey back and star player Gareth Bale returned from an ankle injury, a good result in Dublin is on the cards.
Bale has scored four times in the qualifiers thus far to move within two goals of Ian Rush’s national record of 28.
The Irish unlike their opponents have been beset by injuries with Daryl Murphy the latest player to be ruled out on Tuesday — the influential Robbie Brady is suspended.
“We are a very good team when we’re at our best and at our strongest,” said Coleman.
“We need these players on the pitch consistently and we’re in pretty good condition.
“The squad might have looked different two or three months ago.
“But we’ve got players back, and I’ve picked those who have been on the front foot and are most ready for this challenge,” added the 46-year-old.
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