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

Here's The Ireland Team We Want To See Against England
By Gary Connaughton
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Ireland's game against England on Thursday night may not be a competitive fixture, but it is difficult to think of any game between the two nations as friendly.

Ireland will certainly want to secure a positive result, with Stephen Kenny yet to win a game since his appointment. There is also the small matter of world ranking points at stake.

As a result, you'd imagine Ireland will field a strong team. Here's what we would go with.

GK: Darren Randolph

Despite not featuring in the Premier League for West Ham this season, Darren Randolph remains Ireland's undisputed number one.

His mistake in Finland was very out of character, and Ireland will likely need a big performance out of him in this fixture if they are to secure a positive result.


RB: Seamus Coleman

Seamus Coleman is fit once again, meaning we would have assumed that would mean a return to the Coleman versus Doherty debates. However, the absence of a natural left back in this squad due to Enda Stevens' injury.


Coleman was in fantastic form to start the season before his campaign was derailed by injury, so hopefully he can carry that into what is likely to be his first Ireland appearance in over a year.

CB: Shane Duffy

Shane Duffy has struggled at Celtic in recent weeks, but his form for Ireland in October was fantastic. The early doubts about his ability to adapt to Stephen Kenny's style of play have been put to one side for now, with the centre back looking very comfortable in the three fixtures last month.

CB: John Egan

It's been a difficult start to the season for John Egan at club level, with Sheffield United yet to record a victory in the Premier League. His own form has been up and down, although he is no doubt still a hugely important player for Ireland.


He and Duffy have actually only started six games together for Ireland, so another outing here against high quality opposition will certainly be of benefit to both.

LB: Matt Doherty

With Enda Stevens out of this one, Matt Doherty is the obvious solution at left back. The Spurs player played there quite often earlier in his club career, while also filling the position for Ireland in the loss to Switzerland last year.

Doherty displayed his versatility in the draw against Wales last month, looking very comfortable when asked to fill in at centre back. We would be confident that he is capable of putting on a good display in this one considering his strong recent club form.



DM: James McCarthy

McCarthy has only played 13 minutes of football since the last international break, but if he is fit, you'd imagine Stephen Kenny would value his experience against a difficult opponent.


The Crystal Palace man has not quite had the impact we would have hoped for in his return to the international scene. Jayson Molumby could be considered for this spot, but he hasn't featured at club level since the game in Finland.


CM: Jeff Hendrick

Hendrick has shown some brief flashes during Kenny's tenure, but his performances have been largely frustrating.

However, he is one of the few players in the Ireland squad starting for a Premier League club every week. You'd imagine that it is unlikely that he will be dropped from the team as a result. If Ireland can find his best position, he could still have a big influence.


CM: Alan Browne

Alan Browne is likely to get an opportunity in this one. He had a big impact in Slovakia after being introduced as a substitute and has been in very impressive form at club level.

Having been robbed of the chance to play against Wales and Finland due to being deemed a close contact to a player who tested positive for coronavirus, this will be a big opportunity for the 25-year old.

RW: Robbie Brady

Robbie Brady had a rare start at the weekend, playing the full 90 minutes in Burnley's 0-0 draw with Brighton, his first start of the Premier League season. Having featured in their last two games, you would hope he may get more opportunities going forward.


Brady has put in a couple of decent displays under Kenny, and with the manager favouring a left-footed player on the right flank, you'd imagine it is between him and Callum O'Dowda for this spot.

ST: Aaron Connolly

One of the consequences of David McGoldrick's international retirement is that it opens up the centre forward position for Aaron Connolly.

Stephen Kenny has already hinted at this switch, while the player himself is also keen for it to happen. The Brighton man would offer a different type of option to McGoldrick, running in behind instead of dropping to deep in search of the ball.

Playing through the middle should get him move involved in the general play, something that would be a plus when you consider his form for Ireland.

LW: Callum Robinson

Callum Robinson has thrived as a left winger at club level, but it is a position he has rarely got to play for Ireland. James McClean was the favoured player in this position under Mick McCarthy, while Kenny has used Aaron Connolly here when available.

Connolly's move to centre forward opens up this slot for the West Brom man, who impressed during his stint there in the game against Slovakia.


The Team In Full

Certainly a decent looking side.

The back four is locked in at the minute, while that front three is also likely to start, although Callum O'Dowda could yet get the nod. The midfield is still very much up for debate, however.

SEE ALSO: Aaron Connolly Was Frustrated By Reaction To Slovakia Flight Seating Mixup

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