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Wales could be without Ledley as his wife is set to give birth

By Phil Blanche

Joe Ledley could miss Wales' World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland if his pregnant wife Ruby goes into labour before tomorrow's Dublin clash.

The prospect of midfielder Ledley missing the game has been raised by his Crystal Palace team-mate Wayne Hennessey.

Ruby is due to give birth to the couple's third child - they are already parents to daughters Layla and Reeva - a few days after Wales take on group leaders the Republic.

But Hennessey says that Ledley is on tenterhooks as the due date and game draws nearer, and that his best friend has even had a member of the Wales staff take his mobile phone out to the training ground this week.

"Ruby is expecting two or three days after the game, so Joe is hoping he doesn't get the call until the day after," Hennessey said.

"He's not been nervous, he's been calm. He's just keeping his phone on loud and for one of the members of staff to take his phone if he's training. Let's hope she doesn't drop before the game. I would be lost without him!"

Hennessey will win his 67th cap in Dublin and he is expecting a sell-out 51,700-Aviva crowd to create an intense atmosphere.

The Republic are currently four points clear of third-placed Wales and two ahead of Serbia.

"It will be a hostile game in terms of the crowd," Hennessey said. "But on the field and off the field, the Euros really prepared us for games like this.

"We know all about their players and their style of play."

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