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The Much Changed Ireland Team We Want To See Against Scotland

The Much Changed Ireland Team We Want To See Against Scotland
By Gary Connaughton
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Ireland desperately need to put in a performance in Saturday's game against Scotland.

The showings against Armenia and Ukraine were absolutely dire, with the pressure starting to build on Stephen Kenny as a result.

A number of players who featured in the last couple of games look completely jaded, suggesting that changes should be on the way for the weekend. It remains to be seen if that will be the case, but considering how the last week or so has gone, here is the team we would pick to take on Scotland.

Ireland team we want to play Scotland

GK: Caoimhín Kelleher

There is certainly a case to put Mark Travers in here, although the criticism directed at Kelleher after last night's goal seems a bit harsh. He would have expected his defenders to deal with the cross and could not commit to diving into the far corner in case someone directed the ball towards the goal.

His ability with the ball at his feet is important, especially as Ireland struggle to create chances at the other end of the pitch.


CB: Nathan Collins

Nathan Collins has been Ireland's best player across the two games so far in this window, already looking like a lynchpin in the defence. Fitness permitting, he should start the next two games.


Having only recently turned 21-years old, the Leixlip native is likely to be a key player at international for the next decade.

CB: Darragh Lenihan

By the end of last night's game, Shane Duffy looked completely drained. He hardly featured for Brighton in recent months and it showed after his second 90 minutes in the space of a few days. The Derry man wasn't at his best yesterday and should be given a reprieve for Saturday.

Darragh Lenihan had quite a season at Blackburn, being widely regarded as one of the top performers in the Championship. He has certainly earned another opportunity for Ireland as a result, with his last cap coming back in 2018.


CB: Dara O'Shea

This selection assumed that John Egan is unavailable for the Scotland game, something that seems likely after he was forced due to rolling his ankle against Ukraine.

Dara O'Shea's progress has been stalled by the serious injury he suffered against Portugal last year, although he remains a very bright prospect.

RWB: Festy Ebosele

Ireland need more energy in the team. Festy Ebosele provides that, even if making you international debut against Scotland is not an easy task. In saying that, Collins would provide plenty of protection down that right flank.


The 19-year old has a massive future in this team, so why wouldn't you throw him in now? The fact that Cyrus Christie struggled so badly against Ukraine only adds to the argument to start the Wexford native.

LWB: Ryan Manning

Enda Stevens was slightly improved last night, although he still looks well short of his best. James McClean is a more likely candidate to start here, but Ryan Manning seems more likely to provide the type of creativity that the side is currently lacking in the final third.

This left wingback spot is looking like it needs some refreshing, with U21 stars Joel Bagan and Tayo Adaramola likely to be given an opportunity in the not too distant future. For now, Manning seems like the best option.


CM: Josh Cullen

The effects of a long season are perhaps showing in Josh Cullen's recent performances, although he is still certainly deserving of his place in the team.

The 26-year old brings a huge amount of energy to the side, something that is needed if Ireland persist with playing only two men in midfield.

CM: Jason Knight

Jeff Hendrick is seriously lacking match fitness. He started each of the last two games in a decent fashion but badly faded as the contests went on.


Jason Knight played in a more advanced role against Ukraine, but his legs are badly needed in midfield. He has to be in the team moving forward, regardless of the position.

FW: Chiedozie Ogbene

Ogbene didn't quite sparkle in the manner we have become accustomed to seeing last night, but he still worked incredibly hard and threatened the opposition defence at times.

He is certainly Ireland's biggest attacking threat and looks the most likely one to end their current scoreless run.


FW: Troy Parrott

Troy Parrott went from starting in Armenia to not even featuring against Ukraine, perhaps indicating that Stephen Kenny still isn't certain what his best team is.

The Dubliner was one of the few players that attempted to inject some pace into Ireland's play in Yerevan, even if not much came off for him. In a team lacking goals, his finishing ability is a big plus.

ST: Michael Obafemi

Speaking of goals, can Ireland really afford not to have Michael Obafemi in the team at the moment? The Swansea forward was on fire to start the season, scoring 12 goals in his final 15 seasons.

For a team who don't even look like scoring right now, a player with the ability to put the ball in the back of the next has to be in the side. While he may not be as familiar with Kenny's system as other payers in the squad, his form cannot be ignored.

The Team In Full

This would make six changes from the loss to Ukraine, something that is needed when you consider how poor Ireland have looked over the last two games.

It will be interesting to see if Stephen Kenny agrees.

SEE ALSO: Eamon Dunphy Believes Current Ireland Team Is The Worst He Has Ever Seen

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