Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Wednesday night’s Nations League game between the Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria.
The Republic of Ireland will finish their UEFA Nations League campaign at the Aviva Stadium this evening against Bulgaria. Stephen Kenny will be hoping to pick up his first win as Ireland manager in his eighth game. Here is everything you need to know about the match, including team news and TV channel details.
Who are Ireland playing against?
Ireland are taking on Bulgaria who are ranked 66th in the Fifa world rankings. The pair played out a 1-1 draw at the start of the Nations League campaign in September.
The game will kick-off at 7:45 Irish time.
It's the final International Matchday of 2020 in @AVIVAStadium!
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) November 18, 2020
What is at stake?
Both teams will be playing for a chance to remain in League B of the UEFA Nations League.
Ireland enter the game with two points after five games and are above Bulgaria by a point. This means that avoiding a defeat will be enough for Kenny’s side to stay in League B and avoid relegation.
There is also an opportunity for Ireland to secure second seeding for the 2022 world cup qualifiers. However, we will need results elsewhere to go our way.
For Republic of Ireland to secure second seeding for 2022 World Cup qualifiers:
– Ireland must beat Bulgaria
– Serbia must beat Russia
– Romania must NOT beat N Ireland
Russia currently ranked 20th, and most lose if we’re to overtake – but Romania would leapfrog us with a win.
— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) November 18, 2020
What is Ireland’s form going into the game?
Pretty poor. As mentioned previously, Ireland are without a win since Kenny took over as manager in the summer.
Ireland have also only scored once in that period. However, a home tie against Bulgaria is probably the team’s best bet to break that streak.
How can I watch the match on TV?
The match will be shown on Sky Sports Arena with coverage starting at 7.30 pm.
Match highlights will be available on Virgin Media 2 at 10 pm.
A replay of the full game will be shown on Virgin Media 2 at 11 pm.
Who is in the Ireland squad?
Ireland are missing a staggering 15 players going into tonight’s game with injuries and Covid related issues leaving Stephen Kenny with a depleted squad.
Shamrock Rovers pair Graham Burke and Aaron McEneff come into the squad and will be keen to make an impact.
Here’s the full squad for the game:
Republic of Ireland squad
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Caoimhín Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth)
Defenders: Kevin Long (Burnley), Shane Duffy (Celtic), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Cyrus Christie (Nottingham Forest), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), Ryan Manning (Swansea City).
Midfielders: Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), Jason Knight (Derby County), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Aaron McEneff (Shamrock Rovers), Jack Taylor (Peterborough United).
Forwards: James Collins (Luton Town), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Graham Burke (Shamrock Rovers), Troy Parrott (Millwall, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur).
What is Ireland’s starting line-up for the game?
Randolph; O’Shea, Duffy, Long, Manning; Knight, Hourihane, Brady; Horgan, Collins, Curtis.