Republic of Ireland Manager Stephen Kenny is forced to make at least one change to his starting eleven for the meeting with Luxembourg in the Aviva Stadium at 7.45pm this Saturday evening. Injury rules out Aaron Connolly who has returned to his club Brighton & Hove Albion and will not be available for next week’s encounter with Qatar.
Ireland lose to Serbia this Wednesday evening…24/03/2021
Our 2022 World Cup qualification campaign got off to a disappointing start with a three two defeat by Serbia in Belgrade this Wednesday evening. A very new and youthful starting eleven did adopt a 3-5-2 formation which functioned reasonably well for the majority of the first half. Ireland started quite brightly, forcing two corners in the opening minutes but they came to nothing. The hosts responded with a series of corners of their own but they too proved fruitless. Ireland stunned the hosts with the opening goal after 18 minutes . Some fine build up play involving Matt Doherty, Alan Brown and Enda Stevens saw the ball directed to Callum Robinson who delivered an excellent cross which was powered to the net by Brown who had made his run from near the halfway line. Ireland continued to play some neat possession football but were undone on 40 minutes when Ciaran Clark was outjumped by Dusan Tadic whose flick on was fired to the net by Dusan Vlahovic. Ireland did not maintain their first half quality on the resumption and the hosts began to dominate. Ireland introduced Jeff Hendrick for Jayson Molumny on 61 minutes and Shane Long replaced Aaron Connolly six minutes later. Hosts Serbia took the lead on 68 minutes through substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic who lobbed Mark Travers from some thirty yards. Seven minutes later Mitrovic was again on the scoresheet, outjumping Clark in the penalty area to power home his header. A now somewhat deflated Ireland made three changes on 79 minutes with Robbie Brady, James Collins and James McClean replacing Browne, Clark and Robinson. The changes did spark something of a revival with Long pressurizing the goalkeeper and a defender into an error which Collins pounced upon to score. It was however too little too late. There were positive performances from captain Seamus Coleman midfielder Josh Cullen and forward Callum Robinson while all five substitutes did make some impact.
The other Group A contest played this evening saw Portugal defeat their visitors Azerbaijan by one goal to nil while in the friendly fixture, World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar defeated Luxembourg by one goal to nil.
Our Republic of Ireland senior international football team set out this evening on the journey which we all hope sees us participate at the 2022 World Cup Finals in Qatar. Manager Stephen Kenny has named his starting eleven for this opening engagement with second seed hosts Serbia in the Rajko Mitic Stadium, Belgrade at 7.45pm.
It is extremely unlikely that anyone could have predicted the starting eleven which appears to be a 3-5-2 formation with significant attacking emphasis. We await the on pitch revelation.
Team: Mark Travers; Seamus Coleman(C), Dara O’Shea, Ciaran Clark; Matt Doherty, Jayson Molumby, Josh Cullen, Alan Browne, Enda Stevens; Aaron Cconnolly, Callum Robinson
The four extended squad members to miss out this evening are Conor Coventry, Ronan Curtis, Ryan Manning and Troy Parrott.
Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu(Manchester City on loan at Rochdale), Kieran O’Hara(Burton Albion), Mark Travers(AFC Bournemouth)
Defenders: Cyrus Christie(Fulham on loan at Nottingham Forest), Ciaran Clark(Newcastle United), Seamus Coleman(Everton), Matt Doherty(Tottenham Hotspur), Shane Duffy(Brighton & Hove Albion on loan at Glasgow Celtic), Darragh Lenihan(Blackburn Rovers), Ryan Manning(Swansea City), Dara O’Shea(West Bromwich Albion), Enda Stevens(Sheffield United)
Midfielders: Robbie Brady(Burnley), Alan Browne(Preston North End), Conor Coventry(West Ham United), Josh Cullen(RSC Anderlecht), Ronan Curtis(Portsmouth), Jeff Hendrick(Newcastle United), Daryl Horgan((Wycombe Wanderers), Jason Knight(Derby County), James McClean(Stoke City), Jayson Molumby(Brighton & Hove Albion on loan at Preston North End),
Forwards: James Collins(Luton Town), Aaron Connolly(Brighton & Hove Albion), Shane Long(Southampton on loan at AFC Bournemouth), Troy Parrott(Tottenham Hotspur on loan at Ipswich Town), Callum Robinson(West Bromwich Albion)