The fact calf trouble has ruled Wales's best player, Gareth Bale, out of Monday's match between the countries could be construed as some sort of karmic righting of wrongs and a sign that fate might be turning back in Ireland's favour.
They take on hosts Georgia on Friday and host Ireland the following Monday in their final qualifier.
Norn Iron have enjoyed a great campaign, and have only failed to win Group C due to the presence of reigning world champions Germany.
England just need a victory over Slovenia on Thursday to secure their place in Russian Federation and assuming Gareth Southgate's men do the business, Scotland can climb into second spot in Group F by beating Slovakia.
This is because a draw for Scotland or a loss for Scotland could see Ireland leapfrog their points total in the second-place table.
Ireland must win their final two qualifying fixtures against Moldova and Wales to secure a place in next month's play-offs and although tonight's game at the Aviva Stadium is at the forefront of their thoughts, the future can not be ignored.
Scattered showers Friday with temps in the near 70s
Much more pleasant fall weather is expected for Sunday , with sunny skies and temperatures above average in the upper 60s. Westerly winds around 5 mph.Note: Computer model precision diminishes the further into the week the forecast projects.
"The future now with some younger players coming through, taking over from the old guard who may retire naturally through old age as much as anything else, I think it is exciting times for us".
I don't think anyone has been overly enthused by the style of football. They have scored just two goals at the Aviva Stadium this year and they are in a precarious position, to say the least.
Asked if he felt his near-four-year reign to date could be considered successful, regardless of how the ongoing qualification bid pans out, the manager replied: "Well, we qualified for a competition - one out of one".
This should be a comfortable win for Ireland, even if they are not a side that scores a lot of goals.
"I had a conversation with John [Delaney, FAI chief executive] not so very long ago and John would like me to continue", O'Neill said.
James McClean and Robbie Brady are both suspended and that's an issue but the Republic should have enough quality to secure a comfortable victory.