Stephen Kenny has dropped some hints as to who might be starting against France on Monday night.
Kenny’s Ireland side defeated Latvia 3-2 on Wednesday at the Aviva Stadium, in a game that was made a lot harder than it should have been.
After going 2-0 up, Ireland let Latvia back into the game, something which Kenny’s teams have a habit of doing.
They did manage to get the win in the end though, and can take plenty of positives into the first Euro 2024 qualifier against France.
Speaking after the game, the Ireland manager did drop some hints with regards to who might be starting vs France.
Stephen Kenny on team to take on France
Speaking to media after the match, Kenny confirmed that both Josh Cullen and Jason Knight were held back and not risked in the friendly against Latvia, which implies they will certainly be playing against France.
Given the amount of defending Ireland will have to do on the night, Jayson Molumby is probably a safe bet to complete the midfield three, though we wouldn’t rule out a surprise inclusion of Jeff Hendrick beside Knight and Cullen.
This likely means that Will Smallbone will miss out, though after his Man of the Match performance against Latvia, Kenny will be left with a selection headache.
Six chances created by Will Smallbone tonight 🪄
— Kenny's Kids (@KennysKids) March 22, 2023
With Evan Ferguson almost guaranteed to start, does he pack the midfield and leave the Brighton youngster up front on his own? Or does he pair him with a Michael Obafemi or Chiedozie Ogbene, to really try and get at the French backline.
Caoimhin Kelleher didn’t exactly cover himself with grace during the win over Latvia, though some would argue if he could have done anything about the two goals. Gavin Bazunu’s stock likely rose from doing nothing though, with some suggesting he would have saved the second effort.
Read more about the game vs France here.