We spent a significant amount of last week bemoaning Ireland's lack of quality defensive cover. At right back, we're fine, at left back, we'll get by now that Stephen Ward is back playing regularly. At centre back however, we're in dire straits.
Keogh and O'Shea will almost inevitably start, with Ciaran Clark and Marc Wilson the likely alternatives. That didn't seem particularly encouraging but when you now consider that Wilson has been ruled out for up to three months, things are getting very worrying.
The Stoke defender exited his side's FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace in significant pain on Saturday and Mark Hughes has since confirmed that Wilson looks to be suffering from a medial ligament injury, a situation which may mean that he'll have to make a late move to bring in some defensive cover today.
We’ve got bad news with Marc Wilson. We’re a little bit stretched at the back.
Marc looks like he’s got a bad knee injury, the physio thinks he’s got medial ligament damage so he’s going to be out for a period of maybe 10-12 weeks unfortunately.
The injury might force our hand because we are bit threadbare with Ryan Shawcross injured, Geoff Cameron unavailable and Marc Muniesa only just coming back into the team. So we might have to do a short-term thing.
That time frame is very bad news for Wilson and Martin O'Neill. If you consider that the Ireland boss is likely to name his final 23 man squad ahead of the friendly against the Dutch on May 27th, Wilson could well head towards that date without having played a minute of first team football.
He has been a bit part player at the Potteries already this season and if he is to miss the next three months, it's unlikely Hughes will be rushing him back into action in late April or early May, particularly if he brings in cover on deadline day.
With very few alternatives open to Martin O'Neill, it could well be the case that we head into Euro 2016 with Keogh and O'Shea the only Irish central defenders playing in anyway regularly in the build up to the tournament.