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Here's The Ireland Team We Want To See Against Serbia

Here's The Ireland Team We Want To See Against Serbia
By Gary Connaughton Updated

Ireland's fixture against Serbia on Wednesday evening is a massively important one. Not only is it key to get the World Cup qualification off to a good start, but results will soon need to improve if Stephen Kenny is to ease some of the pressure building around the team.

His team selection will go a long way in that regard. A number of players have been ruled out due to injury, but Kenny still has a decent 29-man squad to choose from.

Here is the team we would go with.

GK: Mark Travers

With Darren Randolph and Caoimhín Kelleher ruled out due to injury, Mark Travers is the obvious choice here.

Some will likely call for Gavin Bazunu to be thrown straight into the team after his first international call-up, but the Bournemouth man has already worked with Stephen Kenny on a number of occasions in recent months. That should get him the nod ahead of such a big game.

 

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RB: Seamus Coleman

This debate has been going on for a couple of years now, but we've gotten creative in our solution. We would have both Seamus Coleman and Matt Doherty in the team, something we will have more detail on shortly.

Coleman has been in fine form for Everton this season and Ireland could do with his experience in what is set to be a difficult test in Belgrade.

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CB: Dara O'Shea

Dara O'Shea has been in excellent form this season despite West Brom's struggles, with the 21-year fortifying his place in the side since the appointment of Sam Allardyce.

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He is an excellent defender, while his ability on the ball makes him an ideal fit in Stephen Kenny's system. The Dubliner should be looking to nail down a long-term position in this team during the upcoming campaign.

 

CB: Ciaran Clark

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Shane Duffy has rarely played poorly for Ireland, but it is getting increasingly difficult to justify his selection in the team at the minute. The defender has started only one of Celtic's last nine league games and has been in abysmal form all season.

On the other hand, Ciaran Clark has been an automatic selection for Newcastle in recent months. We would go with him for this game.

 

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LB: Enda Stevens

About as obvious as a selection as there is in this team, Enda Stevens is still streaks ahead of the other Irish options at left back.

He has struggled at times in this campaign thanks to Sheffield United's troubles, but he is still an excellent player.

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DM: Josh Cullen

We would throw Josh Cullen straight in from the start in Serbia. The holding midfield position is one that has changed quite a lot under Kenny, with the likes of James McCarthy, Conor Hourihane, and Jayson Molumby filling it at different times.

Cullen is one of the most in-form Irish players around, playing some brilliant football for Anderlecht this season. He would be an excellent option to put in front of the defence, with his passing ability more than good enough to keep the team moving at a good tempo in possession.

 

CM: Jason Knight

Jason Knight should be an automatic selection at this stage. He has been fantastic for Derby this season and at 20-years old will be a huge player for Ireland going forward.

Knight can bring huge energy to the Irish midfield, something that has been lacking somewhat in the last few games.

 

CM: Alan Browne

Conor Hourihane has been ruled out after picking up an injury with Swansea yesterday, a big blow considering his recent form.

However, Alan Browne is a more than capable replacement. He has been in strong form himself in recent months and certainly adds an attacking dimension to the Irish midfield.

 

RW: Matt Doherty

Ireland don't have an abundance of wingers at the minute. The likes of James McClean and Callum O'Dowda have been struggling with injury, with most of the other options in the squad relatively untested at this level.

Why can't Matt Doherty play there? He is as dangerous as any Irish player in advanced wide positions, thriving as a wingback for Wolves in recent seasons. He can also add a bit more defensive protection down that flank against a Serbian team who will have purple patches in the game.

A three-man defence seems like the most obvious solution to the Coleman/Doherty debate, but Stephen Kenny has to find a way to get both men in the team. He has said that he is open to doing so and this is one potential solution.

 

ST: Aaron Connolly

Connolly is in a race against time to be fit for this fixture, but it looks as though he will just about make it. That is good news for Ireland, with the Brighton man their most dangerous attacker at the minute.

He has mostly played off the left flank at international level. However, the retirement of David McGoldrick leaves that central position unoccupied. The player himself would certainly welcome the added pressure of being depended on to score goals.

 

LW: Callum Robinson

Callum Robinson has not played much in recent weeks, but he remains the best option for this position. The 26-year old has played almost exclusively off the right flank for Ireland, although he is far more comfortable coming off the left.

Robinson possesses plenty of pace, an asset in a team that often lacks that attribute.

 

The Team In Full

Certainly a strong looking team, and one that seems to fit with Stephen Kenny's philosophy.

It will be interesting to see who he goes with in Serbia.

SEE ALSO: Martin O'Neill Rules Himself Out Of Celtic Job Running, Talks Up Roy Keane

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