Football

Here's The Youthful Ireland Team We Want To See Against Qatar

Here's The Youthful Ireland Team We Want To See Against Qatar

Going into a game off the back of a win bring a whole new dynamic to Ireland's fixture against Qatar on Tuesday evening. Finally, there seems to be a bit of a feel good factor around the side under Stephen Kenny.

Getting the balance right for this game is a tough one. You want to continue the momentum picked up in Baku, but you also want to give a few other players some minutes and the chance to impress ahead of next month's qualifiers.

This is a team that strikes a nice balance between the two.

Formation: 3-4-3

Having played around with a number of different formations in recent times, this one seemed to work well in Baku. There seems to be no reason to change it for this game.

 

GK: Caoimhín Kelleher

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Whenever asked about the excellent form of Gavin Bazunu, it is notable how Stephen Kenny always also praises Caoimhín Kelleher in his responses.

The Ireland boss clearly believes that the race for the number one jersey is far from over, saying last month that Kelleher was likely to be given an opportunity in this fixture. His form during his limited appearances for Liverpool would certainly suggest he deserves a chance to get his first full international cap.

CB: Andrew Omobamidele

Omobamidele was impressive once again in Azerbaijan. He is very solid at the back and is equally capable with the ball at his feet. He seems like the ideal type of defender for the way Kenny wants to play.

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Considering his lack of playing time at club level this season, getting another 90 minutes under his belt would be of benefit in this fixture.

CB: Nathan Collins

Shane Duffy has been absolutely brilliant for both club and country this season and really seems to be back to his best. He has also played a lot of football, often at a very high tempo. It might be no harm to let him sit this one out and recharge his batteries.

That opens to door to an international debut for Nathan Collins, who like Omobamidele has not featured much at club level in recent weeks. He was very good in his lone Premier League appearance for Burnley and at 20-years old is another player with a big future ahead of him.

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CB: John Egan

John Egan would be the experienced head in this back three, but that is a role he is well capable of filling. It was interesting to see the Sheffield United man handed the captain's armband ahead of Shane Duffy in Baku, a sign of just how much trust Stephen Kenny has put in him since taking over.

RWB: Matt Doherty

Matt Doherty is another player that could do with a few minutes under his belt, having had his club appearances limited to European competition for Spurs.

He was uncharacteristically quiet in attack against Azerbaijan, although he did defend very well. You would expect him to have a bigger impact in forward areas in midweek.

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LWB: Enda Stevens

James McClean did a fine job in this role last night, but it is time to get Enda Stevens back into the international fold having not featured for Ireland since March.

He has rarely been given the opportunity to play as a wingback for Ireland, with only a handful of his caps coming in what is usually considered his best position. You would be keen to see him offered more opportunities to do just that moving forward.

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CM: Josh Cullen

Perhaps the most consistent Ireland player since the turn of the year, Josh Cullen has to be the first name on the team sheet for Stephen Kenny at the moment.

He has come on in leaps and bounds since his move to Anderlecht last year and offers everything you want to see in a holding midfielder.

CM: Jason Knight

Jason Knight could well have started in Baku were it not for his illness, but he should hopefully be well recovered by Tuesday night. The Derby man brings a huge amount of energy to the midfield and can get around the pitch better than the other contenders in this position.

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He can also contribute in attack, something that is not always the case for Irish midfielders.

RW: Chiedozie Ogbene

Chiedozie Ogbene was brilliant after coming on last night. He looks so dangerous in the final third, with his pace and explosiveness something that will really worry opposition defenders.

He clearly has an eye for goal too, with his header a well taken one. It would be interesting to see what he could do with a bit more time on the pitch.

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ST: Troy Parrott

Adam Idah looked very tired coming off the pitch in Azerbaijan, perhaps due to his struggles with illness earlier in the week. We would be keen to see what Troy Parrott could offer in a central striking role for Ireland, a position he has not been given a chance in all that often under Kenny.

A friendly against Qatar seems like an ideal opportunity to test it out, with this selection in no way a slight on Idah who has been excellent for Ireland in recent times.

LW: Callum Robinson

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It's not often Ireland can call upon a man in red hot goalscoring form at international level, so it seems like a no brainer to keep Callum Robinson in the team for the game in midweek.

It would be no exaggeration to say that he could have easily come away with five or six goals last night and he is clearly looking very sharp at the moment. Let him carry that on for as long as possible.

The Team In Full

This team strikes a nice balance between maintaining the momentum picked up in Azerbaijan and offering a few fringe players the opportunity to impress.

Aaron Connolly is another name to throw into the mix as someone who could really do with finding the back of the net at this level, while Jamie McGrath and Conor Hourihane will likely also come under consideration for a starting berth.

SEE ALSO: Didi Hamann Unimpressed With Stephen Kenny Comments After Baku Win

Didi Hamann on Stephen Kenny

Gary Connaughton

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