Stephen Kenny has named his first starting XI as Republic of Ireland manager for this evening's clash with Bulgaria, with the big news coming in the form of Matt Doherty's inclusion at right back.
The recent £15million Spurs signing has had a long running battle with Seamus Coleman for the spot at fullback, but he has seemingly ousted the Ireland captain.
The rest of Ireland's back five is as expected, with Darren Randolph, Shane Duffy, John Egan, and Enda Stevens reprising the roles they filled during the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. Duffy willl also captain the side.
Adam Idah is will make his Ireland debut as the central striker, with Aaron Connolly also making his second start at senior level.
In midfield, James McCarthy will make his first international appearance in almost four years, where he will play alongside Conor Hourihane and Jeff Hendrick.
There is no place for James McClean or Callum Robinson, both of whom were regulars under Mick McCarthy. Here is the team in full.
Starting XI | Bulgaria v Ireland
A debut for Adam Idah 🔥
Matt Doherty, James McCarthy and Callum O’Dowda also start 👏🏻
KO 7.45pm | International football returns#COYBIG | #BULIRL🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/WVPQwIbuE3
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) September 3, 2020
It is too early to know if this indicates that Matt Doherty will be the first choice right back under the new manager, but this is a big decision early in Stephen Kenny's reign.
The inclusion of Callum O'Dowda is certainly the big surprise. The Bristol City man struggled to find his form over the 2019/20 campaign, with many feeling he would not even make the squad for these games.
Kenny is known to favour inverted wingers, so perhaps O'Dowda's ability to cut in on his stronger left foot from the right flank was the deciding factor here.