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Stephen Kenny Has Named An Exciting Ireland Team For Latvia Clash

Stephen Kenny Has Named An Exciting Ireland Team For Latvia Clash
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Stephen Kenny has named his team for the friendly against Latvia this evening, selecting an intriguing XI for the game at the Aviva Stadium.

Matt Doherty captains the side for the first time in the absence of Seamus Coleman and John Egan, both of whom are on the bench.

In goal, Caoimhín Kelleher gets the nod to start. The back three will consist of Nathan Collins, Dara O'Shea, and Andrew Omobamidele, with the Norwich City man making his first international appearance in 17 months.

In midfield, Will Smallbone has been handed a senior international debut, playing alongside Alan Browne and Jayson Molumby.

Up front, Evan Ferguson will make his first start for Ireland, where he will be partnered by Michael Obafemi.

Having recently joined the squad, former Scotland U21 player Mikey Johnston is on the bench.


Here is the team in full.



While this is a friendly game, it is an important fixture for Stephen Kenny's side. It will be a final opportunity to test out some players ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign, with France set to visit Dublin on Monday evening.

It is also a game that Ireland will be expected to win against a nation who are currently 134th position in the FIFA world rankings. There may be nothing on the line in this fixture, but a failure to secure a positive result would put some added pressure on Stephen Kenny ahead of the French game.

Will Smallbone will be hoping to play his way into contention for that one with a good performance this evening, with the 23-year old having impressed on loan at Stoke City in recent times. A creative midfielder, he is the type of player the Irish squad has been lacking in recent years.


Most of this in attendance at the Aviva will have their eyes set on Evan Ferguson, with the 18-year old handed a first senior international start. While still a teenager, his form at Brighton since the turn of the year has resulted in some huge expectations for his Ireland career.

Here's hoping the team can start off 2023 with a victory.

SEE ALSO: Paul McGrath Reveals Alex Ferguson Once Offered Him A Small Fortune To Retire From Football

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