Football

Nathan Collins In As Stephen Kenny Names Ireland Squad

Nathan Collins In As Stephen Kenny Names Ireland Squad

Stephen Kenny's Ireland squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers is in - and Burnley centre-back Nathan Collins has made the senior squad for the first time.

There are plenty of experienced names missing from the squad, though, as Kenny firmly puts his trust in the up-and-coming crop of players.

Ireland squad lacking in experience

Nathan Collins made his long-awaited move to the Premier League over the summer, and he has been rewarded with a spot in Stephen Kenny's Ireland squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Portgual, Azerbaijan and Serbia.

He features in a 25-man squad that is light on experience, with Darren Randolph and Robbie Brady both missing after extended spells without playing.

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The form of Ireland's centre-backs will have encouraged Stephen Kenny, with both Shane Duffy at Brighton and Dara O'Shea at West Brom enjoying purple patches. Their involvement, alongside the youth of Nathan Collins, will give Ireland fans a boost of confidence, given the team will have to face the might of Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, and co. on the 1st of September.

Callum Robinson had been in flying form for West Brom, with three goals in his first four games, but a positive COVID-19 test has ruled him out of the qualifiers.

Harry Arter makes a surprising return to the Ireland squad and, despite the absence of Brady and Randolph, his presence will bring some experience to the squad, alongside Duffy, Shane Long, Jeff Hendrick, Seamus Coleman, and James McClean.

Gavin Kilkenny and Liam Scales had been in contention for a place in the squad and may feel a bit aggrieved to have missed out on their spots.

This Ireland squad will be tasked with rescuing the team's World Cup qualification hopes, which have been left looking very unlikely after losses to Luxembourg and Serbia.

Home advantage and the return of fans for the games against Azerbaijan and Serbia could make all the difference as Stephen Kenny seeks a first competitive win as Ireland manager.

SEE ALSO: Stephen Ireland Explains Why He Hated Playing With Joey Barton

stephen ireland joey barton man city

Eoin Harrington

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