Ireland v Belgium: TV channel details, team news and kick-off time for friendly game
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the friendly between Ireland and Belgium.
The Republic of Ireland take on Belgium in a friendly on Saturday evening. Here is everything you need to know about Ireland's first match of 2022, including squad news, form and TV channel details.
Who are Ireland playing against?
Kenny's side will play Belgium in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday, March 26. Belgium are the number-one ranked team in the world and have been since September 2018.
The Red Devils finished third at the 2018 World Cup and reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020. Belgium qualified for the 2022 World Cup without losing a game, winning six of their eight games.
Our Devils are almost back in town. 🔥🇧🇪 #DEVILTIME pic.twitter.com/Z31IXfXJcz
— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) March 18, 2022
Roberto Martinez is expected to name a much-changed team for the clash against Ireland, omitting several senior players, but they will still represent a difficult opponent for the Boys in Green.
Belgium recently hired Anthony Barry as a coach following his stint with the Ireland team.
Ireland v Belgium: What is at stake?
It is a friendly match, so there is nothing directly on the line for Ireland or Belgium. For the home side, however, it is a chance to register some co-efficient points to improve their world ranking and kick-start the year with a positive result.
Ireland's game against Belgium will act as preparation for the Uefa Nations League, which gets underway in June. Kenny's team have been drawn against Ukraine, Scotland and Armenia in the tournament.
For Belgium, it is a chance to blood some young players as some players from their 'golden generation' of talent approach the later stage of their careers.
What is Ireland’s form going into the game against Belgium?
Kenny has been in charge for 20 matches as Ireland manager and has recorded four wins so far. The national team, however, appeared to turn a corner at the end of 2021 after struggling throughout 2020.
Last October, Ireland registered a 3-0 win over Azerbaijan and a 4-0 victory against Qatar. The form of Callum Robinson, who scored five goals for the Boys in Green in the two games, was key for Kenny's team.
In November, they followed up those positive results with a goalless draw against Portugal in Dublin and a 3-0 win over Luxembourg.
There are encouraging signs as Ireland head into the Nations League campaign in the summer and, more importantly, the qualification campaign for Euro 2024.
What TV channel is the Ireland v Belgium match on?
The Ireland v Belgium match will not be shown live on terrestrial television in Ireland.
You can, however, watch the friendly match live on Sky Sports Premier League. The game kicks off at 5 pm, and Sky Sports' coverage begins at 4:30 pm.
Virgin Media will show highlights of the Ireland v Belgium game at 10 pm on Virgin Media 2 and on the Virgin Media Player.
Who is in the Ireland squad?
Kenny named a 25-man squad for the games against Belgium on Saturday and Lithuania next Tuesday.
Goalkeepers: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Gavin Bazunu (Portsmouth, on loan from Manchester City), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), John Egan (Sheffield United), Nathan Collins (Burnley), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers).
Midfielders: Conor Hourihane (Sheffield United, on loan from Aston Villa), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Jeff Hendrick (QPR, on loan from Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jason Knight (Derby County), Mark Sykes (Oxford United).
Forwards: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Troy Parrott (MK Dons, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Scott Hogan (Birmingham City), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United), Connor Ronan (St. Mirren, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Congratulations to @ConnorRonan10 & Mark Sykes on their first call-up to the Ireland squad 🇮🇪
Hear is what Stephen Kenny had to say 👇 #COYBIG | #WeAreOne | #WeAre100 pic.twitter.com/FyTCMAT805
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) March 19, 2022
What is Ireland's starting line-up?
Kenny named his Ireland starting XI an hour before kick-off on Saturday.
Kelleher; Coleman, Duffy, Egan; Doherty, McClean; Cullen, Hendrick, Knight; Robinson, Ogbene.
STARTING XI | Ireland v Belgium
Robinson, Ogbene & Knight all start as Seamus Coleman captains the side for the FAI Centenary match at the @AVIVAStadium 👏
Caoimhin Kelleher starts in goal 👐#COYBIG | #WeAreOne | #WeAre100 pic.twitter.com/NuiQBUM0ZU
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) March 26, 2022
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