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World Cup 2018

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Home Sport Football

Villa's Scott Hogan and Millwall's Aiden O'Brien get Republic calls

Aston Villa striker Scott Hogan has been handed a first call-up by the Republic of Ireland for their final World Cup qualifiers.

Martin O'Neill's men face Moldova and Wales in their last two Group D games next month as they look to keep their hopes of reaching Russia next year alive.

The Republic are third in the table, a point behind Wales and five behind leaders Serbia, after picking up just three points from their last four games.

Moldova come to the Aviva Stadium on September 6 before the clash with Wales in Cardiff three days later as Ireland look to at least make the play-offs.

"Scott has got the paperwork through and he is available to us," Republic boss O'Neill told a press conference.

Hogan, who was born in Salford, qualifies for the country through his grandparents and missed out on the last squad as he was waiting for his documentation to come through.

The 25-year-old, who has three goals in 11 games for Villa this season, is joined by fellow newcomer, Millwall's Aiden O'Brien.

"I've seen O'Brien on a number of occasions for Millwall and he has done very well," added O'Neill.

Midfielder Jeff Hendrick and forward David McGoldrick return after injury, but Greg Cunningham (knee) and Jonathan Walters (knee) miss out.

Boss O'Neill told the Football Association of Ireland website: " The Moldova game is everything to us, we have to win this game. It'll be a nervy 90 minutes, we've seen this before in games we're hoping to win. We're going to try to go to Wales with everything to play for, so the game has become ultra important.

"We've found the odd hiccup in the last couple of weeks, we can rectify that.

"You want to qualify for competitions, that's my job. We have two games and we know if win them you would be desperately unlucky not to be in the play-offs."

James McClean, who scored twice in the 3-1 win in Moldova a year ago, and Robbie Brady are suspended for the first clash, but will be available to face Wales.

Bournemouth's Harry Arter (calf) and Sheffield Wednesday's Keiren Westwood (rib) are included, but will be assessed.

Captain Seamus Coleman continues to recover from a broken leg he suffered in international duty last season.

Republic of Ireland squad:

Randolph (Middlesbrough), Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Elliot (Newcastle), Colin Doyle (Bradford), Christie (Middlesbrough), Keogh (Derby), Duffy (Brighton), Clark (Newcastle), O'Shea (Sunderland), Kevin Long (Burnley), Ward (Burnley), McGeady (Sunderland), McClean (West Brom), Whelan (Aston Villa), Hourihane (Aston Villa), Hendrick (Burnley) Brady (Burnley), McCarthy (Everton), Meyler (Hull), Harry (Bournemouth), O'Kane (Leeds), Hoolahan (Norwich), Hayes (Celtic), O'Dowda (Bristol City), Horgan (Preston), Shane Long (Southampton), Murphy (Nottingham Forest), McGoldrick (Ipswich), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), Maguire (Preston), Hogan (Aston Villa), O'Brien (Millwall)

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