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Stephen Kenny Names Ireland Team For Nations League Opener Against Armenia

Stephen Kenny Names Ireland Team For Nations League Opener Against Armenia
By Gary Connaughton Updated

Stephen Kenny has named his Republic of Ireland team to take on Armenia in their UEFA Nations League opener, although there is no place for Michael Obafemi in the starting XI.

There is a big call made in goals, where Caoimhín Kelleher has been selected ahead of Gavin Bazunu, who has been struggling with a back injury in the buildup to the game. The back three consists of Shane Duffy, John Egan, and Nathan Collins. Both Collins and Kelleher will be making their competitive debuts.

Seamus Coleman will play at right wingback, moving from his position in the back three due to the absence of the injured Matt Doherty. Enda Stevens will play on the opposite flank, his first international appearance since the draw with Portugal in November.

Josh Cullen retains his place in midfield after his suspension was overturned by FIFA, where he will be partnered by Jeff Hendrick.

Up front, Callum Robinson and Chiedozie Ogbene will slot in behind central striker Troy Parrott.

Recent call-ups Michael Obafemi and CJ Hamilton have been included on the bench, although there is no place in the matchday squad for Festy Obesele.

Here is the team in full.

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Ireland team to face Armenia

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This will be Ireland's first trip to Armenia since 2010, when a Keith Fahey winner got Giovanni Trapattoni's side off to a successful start in their Euro 2012 campaign.

The weather conditions in Yerevan mean that Stephen Kenny is likely to utilise his bench this afternoon, with temperatures of around 33 degrees expected at kick-off time.

Ireland will be in search of their first ever victory in the UEFA Nations League, having failed to win a game in the previous two iterations of the event. Considering Kenny is aiming to win this group, three points this afternoon are a must if those ambitions are to be met.

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That would certainly get this international window off to an ideal start, with the team set to face into three more games over the next ten days.

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