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McCarthy Names Experimental Ireland Team For Bulgaria Match

The Republic of Ireland have named an experimental team to take on Bulgaria on Tuesday night.

Mick McCarthy’s side are at the Aviva Stadium in the first friendly of the manager’s second stint in the job, five days after drawing 1-1 with Switzerland ina Euro 2020 qualifier.

John Egan captains Ireland on his fifth appearance for the country. The Sheffield United defender is behind Richard Keogh and Shane Duffy in the pecking order, but McCarthy has given him the armband on Tuesday night.

Conor Hourihane starts at left-back. The Aston Villa midfielder has only played in the position once before in his career – for Plymouth Argyle against Rochdale in a League Two game back in April 2013.

However, speaking to reporters on Monday, McCarthy said the player had the attributes to play at left-back – citing his ability on the ball and intelligence. He also said that Hourihane needs game-time.

Josh Cullen and Mark Travers make their debuts for Ireland. Alan Judge and Alan Browne get starts in midfield. Callum O’Dowda and Ronan Curtis are on the wings. Scott Hogan is upfront.

Here is the Ireland team:

Bulgaria are currently ranked 60th in the world. They come into Tuesday’s friendly on the back of a 4-0 defeat to England at Wembley last Saturday. Bulgaria are bottom of Group Q in qualifying for Euro 2020, and look unlikely to reach the tournament next summer.

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