Midlands rivals Derby County and Nottingham Forest are set to clash in the Championship at Pride Park on Monday evening. Richard Keogh is likely to be in central defence for the hosts while international retiree Daryl Murphy may travel with the visitors who trail their hosts by three points on the league table.
Shane Long made his return to competitive action for Southampton against Arsenal, following his lengthy injury absence, after sixty three minutes at St Mary’s Stadium this Sunday afternoon. In an open and entertaining contest which stood at two each upon his introduction, the Tipperary man made a significant contribution with the precise cross which enabled his side to score the winning goal with five minutes of normal time remaining.
In the Scottish Premiership, there was joy for Daryl Horgan as his Hibernian defeated Glasgow Celtic by two goals to nil at Easter Road. Fellow wide man Jonny Hayes was a sixty second minute substitute for the visitors from Glasgow.
Seamus Coleman and his Everton colleagues went down to a three one defeat in their early afternoon Premier League contest at current leaders Manchester City with captain Coleman being substituted after fifty seven minutes. Ciaran Clark and Newcastle United were also on the road as they travelled to and defeated Huddersfield Town by one goal to nil. It was also an away day for the Burnley trio of Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick and Kevin Long as their side travelled to face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium where they suffered a bitterly disappointing last minute defeat. Brady and Long both started with Hendrick getting just a couple of minutes in added time. Travel was the order of the day for more Irish footballers as Harry Arter and his Cardiff City colleagues went down to a three two defeat at Watford. Matt Doherty and Wolverhampton Wanderers had home comforts as they secured a two nil success over visitors AFC Bournemouth at Molineaux while Cyrus Christie was a second half substitute for Fulham who went down to a two nil defeat by visitors West Ham United and Declan Rice at Craven Cottage.
The Championship continued on Saturday afternoon with Conor Hourihane and Glenn Whelan starting for Aston Villa and Scott Hogan a very late substitute in their two all draw with visitors Stoke City for whom James McClean completed ninety minutes at Villa Park. Blackburn Rovers had Darragh Lenihan in their starting eleven with Derrick Williams unused on the bench as they played out a two all draw with visitors Birmingham City. Preston North End included Alan Browne in their starting eleven and he opened the scoring in their three two victory over visitors Millwall for whom Aiden O’Brien completed ninety minutes at Deepdale. QPR secured a two one success over visitors Middlesbrough and Darren Randolph at Loftus Road. Rotherham United had Richie Towell and Anthony Forde in their starting eleven but Ryan Manning remained on the bench as they played out a one all draw with fellow strugglers Reading. The late kick-off saw Bristol City play out a two all draw with Ashton Gate visitors Norwich City. Callum O’Dowda started, scored and was named ‘man of the match’ following his return to the hosts starting eleven.
League One leaders Portsmouth included Ronan Curtis in their starting eleven as they drew one each with Barnsley at Oakwell.
The Championship continued on Friday evening with West Bromwich Albion leapfrogging their hosts Sheffield United into third place with a two one victory at Bramall Lane. Ireland manager Mick McCarthy was expected to have followed up on the viewing journey undertaken by Robbie Keane last week when the host quartet of John Egan, Jack O’Connell, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick were in action at Reading. All four started again this evening and McGoldrick opened the scoring with a fine strike on twelve minutes. Despite being totally dominant for the great majority of the first half, the ‘Blades’ could not add to their score and carelessly conceded the equaliser just before the half-time break. The roles were reversed in the second half with the visiting ‘Baggies’ holding sway and they secured the winning goal on seventy six minutes.
With sixteen year old Ireland striker Troy Parrott leading the line, Tottenham Hotspur defeated Barcelona in Spain to qualify for the next stage of the 2019 UEFA Youth League. The match was a must win contest for the visiting Spurs and Parrott set them on their way with an opportunist strike on seventeen minutes. The match was quite open with Parrott leading the line in fine fashion. As with any youngster of his age there are aspects of his game that need to be worked on, but his hold up play, his willingness to work and astute passing range give much hope for the future. Parrott switched to a midfield role in the latter stages, as Spurs sought to retain their one goal advantage, before being substituted in the eighty eight minute. Spurs ensured their progression with a breakaway second goal in added time.
The draw for the qualifying groups in the 2021 Under 21 European Championships took place at UEFA Headquarters in Nyon this Tuesday morning. Ireland have been drawn in Group One alongside Italy, Sweden, Iceland, Armenia and Luxembourg. New manager Stephen Kenny will have awaited the outcome with much interest as he prepares to take command of his first international squad. The finals of the Tournament will be co-hosted by Hungary and Slovenia in June 2021, which means that there are just ten places available for the twelve team finals. The nine group winners will qualify automatically and the final position will be decided by a play-off between the two best runners-up from the groups.
Fixture Schedule 24 March 2019 Ireland v Luxembourg 06 September 2019 Ireland v Armenia 10 September 2019 Sweden v Ireland 10 October 2019 Ireland v Italy 15 October 2019 Iceland v Ireland 14 November 2019 Armenia v Ireland 19 November 2019 Ireland v Sweden 26 March 2020 Ireland v Iceland 31 March 2020 Luxembourg v Ireland 13 October 2020 Italy v Ireland