While Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill will have been happy to see Aiden McGeady in the goals once again, Jon Walters winning and scoring a penalty against Chelsea, and James McClean amongst the assists for West Brom against Arsenal, it hasn't all been good news on the Saturday before the crucial clash with Wales in World Cup Qualifying group D.
Having already known that Shane Duffy will not be fit for the match, an injury to Ciaran Clark is not what anybody would have wanted but The Northen Echo are today reporting that the former Aston Villa man will be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines:
Rafael Benitez facing mounting problems with Ciaran Clark set to be sidelined for lengthy spell.
The Magpies manager revealed yesterday that defender Ciaran Clark is the latest key player to be sidelined after picking up an injury.
Clark's absence is a major setback for Benitez, who is likely to call up Grant Hanley to replace the former Aston Villa player after weighing up at least two other options.
Clark and Duffy was the starting partnership in central defence for Ireland's impressive win over Austria and less impressive win over Moldova earlier in the campaign, so it seems as though Martin O'Neill will be without his first-choice pairing for the Wales game.
The good news is that both John O'Shea and Richard Keogh came through their Saturday games unscathed, as did Andy Boyle who played 90 minutes for Preston, this third game in succession for his new club.
However, it's not just in defence where we're going to be light on numbers, as a worrying injury to Wes Hoolahan saw him substituted in the first half of Norwich's win over Barnsley.
Bad news for Ireland with next Friday in mind - Wes Hoolahan gone off injured in first half of Norwich game
— Daniel McDonnell (@McDonnellDan) March 18, 2017
— Norwich This Minute (@NCFC_ThisMinute) March 18, 2017
Early reports are that it was an issue with his hamstring, but we'll have to wait and see how bad it is and if he's fit to play on Friday. If Hoolahan can't feature, with the suspension to Robbie Brady as well it would rule four starters from the Vienna side out for Wales.
While the defensive replacements are straight-forward, it would be interesting to see who O'Neill turns to in attack with Preston wingers Aiden McGeady and Daryl Horgan in great form for their clubs.
Hopefully Wes can make it, and we'll keep you updated when we hear more.