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Stephen Kenny Names Intriguing Ireland Team To Take On Portugal

Stephen Kenny Names Intriguing Ireland Team To Take On Portugal
By Gary Connaughton Updated

Stephen Kenny has named his Ireland team to take on Portugal this evening, with one surprising selection in the form of Jamie McGrath.

Gavin Bazunu starts in goal for the fifth consecutive game, with John Egan, Dara O'Shea, and Shane Duffy making up a three man defence.

Seamus Coleman and Matt Doherty are the wingbacks in the side.

The midfield consists of Josh Cullen, Jeff Hendrick, and Jamie McGrath, with the St Mirren man set to make his first international start. Adam Idah and Aaron Connolly will lead the team up front.

In all, Kenny has made six changes from our last competitive fixture which was the loss to Luxembourg in March.

Here is the team full.

Few are giving Ireland any chance of securing a positive result in this fixture, with Portugal one of the strongest teams in Europe at the moment. When couple with the poor form of Kenny's side over the last 12 months, they are certainly huge underdogs.

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This game will also see Cristiano Ronaldo take to the pitch for the first time since his move to Manchester United, with the superstar forward also one goal away from breaking Ali Dia's all-time international goalscoring record. He will be looking to get over the line on that front tonight.

Ireland have take zero points from their first two games in this group, with losses to Serbia and Luxembourg so far. However, the June international window featured a win against Andorra and a draw in Hungary.

This game could well be more about performance than the actual result, with even a draw looking unlikely ahead of kick-off.

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It would certainly be encouraging to see some of the younger members of the team make a step up in this fixture, something that will be no easy task considering the strength of the opposition.

Saturday's game against Azerbaijan will probably bring more pressure than this game, but Stephen Kenny will certainly be looking to avoid a heavy defeat in Faro.

SEE ALSO: Kevin Doyle Has 'Fears' About Aaron Connolly Career

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