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Stephen Kenny Has Named His Ireland Team To Take On Malta

Stephen Kenny Has Named His Ireland Team To Take On Malta
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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Stephen Kenny has named his Republic of Ireland team to take on Malta this evening, making a number of changes to the side that lost to Norway on Thursday.

Caoimhín Kelleher has replaced Gavin Bazunu in goal, with the Liverpool player set to earn his ninth international cap.

The back three sees captain Seamus Coleman come into the side in the place of Dara O'Shea, with the Donegal man partnering Nathan Collins and John Egan.

Matt Doherty continues at right wingback, with James McClean starting on the other flank.

In midfield, Alan Browne and Josh Cullen will play alongside Jamie McGrath, who is making his first international appearance in over a year.

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Up front, Chiedozie Ogbene will partner Callum Robinson.

Here is the team in full.

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This will be the first meeting between Ireland and Malta since 1999, a 3-2 victory for Mick McCarthy's side in a Euro 2000 qualifier. In fact, the visiting side have won all seven meetings between the nations, conceding only two goals in total along the way.

Considering that the home side are currently ranked in 168th in the FIFA world rankings, this will be a game that the Boys in Green will be expected to win.

This will be Ireland's final fixture of 2o22, hoping to end the year in a positive fashion. It will also be the last chance Stephen Kenny has to have a look at his squad before the Euro 2024 qualifiers get underway in March.

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They will host France in the first game of that campaign, with the Netherlands, Greece, and Gibraltar also in the group. While a top two finish seems unlikely, a fast start will be required if Ireland are looking to upset the odds.

Here's hoping that a victory this evening can hand them some momentum heading into 2023.

SEE ALSO: The World Cup Is Giving Off Serious Fyre Festival Vibes Just Hours Before It Kicks Off

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