Here is everything you need to know about Thursday’s match.
The Republic of Ireland team begin a new era against Bulgaria on Thursday night as Stephen Kenny takes charge of his first game as manager. Here is everything you need to know about the Uefa Nations League match between Bulgaria and the Republic of Ireland, including team news, TV details and kick-off time.
Who are Ireland playing against?
The Republic of Ireland take on Bulgaria in Sofia. Bulgaria are ranked 56th in the Fifa world rankings.
The game kicks off at 7:45 pm Irish time.
What is at stake?
The match is the opening game of Ireland’s 2020/21 Uefa Nations League campaign.
The Boys in Green will play Finland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Sunday.
Wales are the other team in League B, Group Four of the Nations League.
What is Ireland’s form going into the game?
Ireland’s last game was in November 2019 against Denmark at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The match ended 1-1, meaning Mick McCarthy’s team missed out on automatic qualification for Euro 2020.
Since then, a lot has changed, but nothing has happened on the pitch.
Kenny is now the manager. And while the squad hasn’t changed a lot, the team are likely to attempt to play in a completely different manner – a more proactive, progressive and modern approach.
The Nations League matches are competitive games, but they also act as preparation for Ireland’s European Championship play-off against Slovakia on October 8.
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) September 2, 2020
How can I watch the match on TV?
The Ireland-Bulgaria match will not be shown live on terrestrial television in Ireland.
Sky Sports Football will show the game live, coverage begins at 7 pm and kick-off is at 7:45 pm.
Virgin Media will show highlights at 10 pm on Virgin Media 2.
The match will be shown in full on the same channel from 11 pm immediately following the highlights show.
Who is in the Ireland squad?
Here is Ireland’s squad for the game:
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Mark Travers (Bournemouth), Caoimhín Kelleher (Liverpool).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion, on loan with Celtic), John Egan (Sheffield United), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion).
Midfielders: James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Harry Arter (Fulham), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Jayson Molumby (Brighton & Hove Albion), Robbie Brady (Burnley).
Forwards: Callum Robinson (Sheffield United), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City), Aaron Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Adam Idah (Norwich City), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Shane Long (Southampton).
What is Ireland’s starting XI?
Stephen Kenny named his team an hour before kick-off in Sofia. Here is Ireland’s starting XI:
Darren Randolph; Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy, John Egan, Enda Stevens; Jeff Hendrick, James McCarthy, Conor Hourihane; Callum O’Dowda, Adam Idah, Aaron Connolly.
Starting XI | Bulgaria v Ireland
A debut for Adam Idah 🔥
Matt Doherty, James McCarthy and Callum O’Dowda also start 👏🏻
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) September 3, 2020