Belfast Telegraph

Gunter insists play-off sums will not distract Wales players

By Phil Blanche

Chris Gunter says Wales are not distracted by the complicated permutations which could determine their World Cup fate.

Second-placed Wales can still win Group D - and automatic qualification to next summer's World Cup finals in Russia - if they overcome the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff tonight and leaders Serbia fail to beat Georgia at home, also this evening.

There is even a scenario that Wales could top the group by drawing against the Republic and Serbia losing by two goals against Georgia.

But, the World Cup picture could become a lot more complicated for Wales were they to edge out the Republic for second and be in competition with other group runners-up for a place in next month's play-offs.

Victory would guarantee Wales a play-off spot, while even a draw might be enough depending on the outcome of the Ukraine-Croatia game.

"We haven't been sat with pen and paper, but we're aware of scores elsewhere," Wales defender Gunter said.

"But as players, if we don't take care of our own business, then it doesn't matter what happens elsewhere anyway.

"All we can do is prepare for the game, do our work, and come the final whistle of course we will check what's happened. But not until then. It's important to remember regardless of anything else we have to look after ourselves first and foremost.

"I know what fans are like - my mates are the same - but it's about what we do. We have to focus on ourselves and not get distracted by anyone else."

Wales go into the final qualifier on the back of successive wins against Austria, Moldova and Georgia.

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