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Here's The Exciting Ireland Team We Want To See Against Azerbaijan

Here's The Exciting Ireland Team We Want To See Against Azerbaijan
By Gary Connaughton

Can Ireland finally earn their first competitive win under Stephen Kenny this month?

The fixture against Azerbaijan on Saturday evening may well offer their best chance to do so before the end of the year.

The Ireland boss will be missing a couple of key players in the form of Seamus Coleman and Dara O'Shea, but the squad otherwise looks about as well as could be expected.

Here's the team we would go with for the game in Baku.

Formation: 3-4-1-2

Stephen Kenny now seems to favour a three-man defence, using a few different variations of the formation over the last few fixtures.

This one, which would see a number ten operate behind two central striker, seems like a good fit for the game in Azerbaijan.



GK: Gavin Bazunu

There can be little debate about this spot in the team. Gavin Bazunu was in remarkable form for Ireland during last month's international window, with his performance against Serbia one of the best we have seen in an Ireland shirt.

He will continue in goal for this game, although we would like to see Caoimhín Kelleher be given an opportunity in the friendly against Qatar next week.

CB: Andrew Omobamidele

Another player who shone last month, Omobamidele deserves a place in this side despite his lack of playing time at club level.


He looks to have all the attributes that you would want to see in a modern centre back.

CB: Shane Duffy

The form Irish player so far this season, Shane Duffy seems to have left any doubts about his international future behind after some brilliant displays for Brighton in recent weeks.

The 29-year old may not be asked to defend in this fixture as much as he has become accustomed to, but he looks likely to captain the side in the absence of the injured Seamus Coleman.


CB: John Egan

Egan has been in decent form to start the campaign despite Sheffield United's mixed start, with the defender even managing to bag a brace in the recent win over Hull City.

He has formed a strong partnership with Duffy at the back, with Omobamidele complimenting them perfectly on the right side of the defence. This looks like a very strong back three.

RWB: Matt Doherty

Nuno Espirito Santo's appointment at Spurs has not resulted in the increase in Matt Doherty's playing form that we would have hoped for, but it's fair to say that the Dubliner had perhaps his strongest international window in an Ireland jersey last month.


He was brilliant in Portugal, while his performance against Serbia was also a very good one. Hopefully he can carry that over to Baku.

LWB: Enda Stevens

After his recent injury troubles, Stevens finally seems to be getting back into the swing of things at club level. The 31-year old has featured in each Sheffield United's last four fixtures.

A favourite of Stephen Kenny when fit, you would expect him to start ahead of James McClean or Ryan Manning in this position.


CM: Josh Cullen

Josh Cullen has been perhaps the most consistent performer of the Kenny era, transforming himself from a backup in the squad to a near guaranteed starter.

The amount of game time he has received at Anderlecht has certainly helped in this regard, with the former West Ham man having already played 14 full 90 minutes at club level this season.

CM: Jason Knight

Another player who missed out on the September international window due to injury, Knight has made six appearances for Derby County since the start of last month.


The 20-year old brings a huge amount of energy to the team, something that will be required if Ireland do go with a two-man midfield base in Azerbaijan.

CAM: Troy Parrott

After his struggles last season, it is refreshing to see Troy Parrott enjoying his football at MK Dons in this campaign. The forward has already managed three goals and four assists for the club.

He was not at his best for Ireland last month, playing from the right in this reverse fixture at the Aviva Stadium. The Spurs man seems more to operate from the central area just behind the strikers, allowing him to link the play and get in more dangerous positions in the penalty area.

ST: Callum Robinson

Callum Robinson started this season in blistering form, only to have it interrupted by a positive covid test. He was all but certain to start for Ireland last month had he been fully fit, making a couple of impressive cameos off the bench despite his lack of match fitness.

You can expect to see him in the starting XI in Baku, with Robinson offering something different to any other forward in the squad.


ST: Adam Idah

The last spot in the team will likely come down to either Adam Idah or Aaron Connolly, but we have gone for the Norwich City man due to his recent performances in an Ireland shirt.

Whereas Connolly has so far failed to find his best form for Ireland, Idah really seemed to come into his stride from the Portugal game onwards. Partnering him with Robinson would seem to offer Kenny a very well balanced partnership up front.

The Team In Full

Aaron Connolly could well start in this game, while the likes of Jamie McGrath and Jeff Hendrick will also come into contention for a midfield spot.

All in all, this looks like an exciting attacking side, one that is capable of finally getting an Ireland a win in this qualifying campaign.

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