Stephen Kenny has named his Republic of Ireland team to take on Azerbaijan in Baku this evening, with the 49-year old hoping to finally earn his first competitive win in charge of the side.
It looks like a 3-4-3 formation for Ireland, with Gavin Bazunu continuing in goal after his brilliant form last month. The defence is made up of Shane Duffy, John Egan, and Andrew Omobamidele, while Matt Doherty and James McClean will play at wingback. McClean's inclusion is somewhat of a surprise considering the return of Enda Stevens to the squad.
The midfield will be made up of Josh Cullen and Jeff Hendrick.
Up front, Adam Idah and Callum Robinson are joined by Daryl Horgan, who is perhaps an unexpected selection ahead of the likes of Aaron Connolly, Troy Parrott, and Chiedozie Ogbene.
Jason Knight misses out due to illness, while Liam Scales and Will Keane are the other players to miss out on the 23-man matchday squad.
Here is the team in full.
TEAM NEWS | Azerbaijan v Ireland
John Egan ©️ as Daryl Horgan, Callum Robinson and Adam Idah all start
Back three remains unchanged from the Serbia draw
Come on Ireland, let's get the job done 💪#COYBIG | #WeAreOne | #AZEIRL pic.twitter.com/STSxNr0TBJ
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) October 9, 2021
These two sides played out a 1-1 draw in Dublin last month, with Shane Duffy's late equaliser sparing Ireland's blushes against the world's 117th ranked side.
This may well be Stephen Kenny's best opportunity to earn a victory in this qualifying campaign, with only a home game against Portugal and an away game in Luxembourg to come before the end of the year. It will be the first time the Ireland senior team has played in the country.
Incredibly, Ireland have not won a competitive game since June of 2019, a 2-0 victory over Gibraltar. That is a run of 16 games.
Kenny will be hoping to change that this evening, with a victory likely to ease some of the mounting pressure he finds himself under. Keeping a clean sheet would certainly help in that regard, with the team yet to manage one in this qualification group thus far.