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16th Mar 2023

Three big calls as Ireland release squad to play France in World Cup qualifier

Lee Costello

Ireland team

Ireland have named squad to face France and Latvia.

Ireland have made three big calls as they release the squad to play France and Latvia in the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches.

First of all Mikey Johnston has been named, which has come just two weeks since he declared his allegiance with Ireland, rather than Scotland.

The Celtic winger made it clear that he wanted to represent the Boys in Green as his international team, and we could see him in action for the first time this week.

Ireland team

Belfast’s Mark Sykes is also included in the squad, the first Belfast-born player to make an Ireland team since the 1940s.

Another debutant is Will Smallbone, who is yet to make an appearance for his country yet, but what better chance to learn than coming up against the 2018 World Cup champions.

He has been in good form for Stoke City in recent times, being named as their Player of the Month for February.

The name that all Irish fans wanted to see in the team is of course Evan Ferguson. The Brighton striker has been in brilliant form for his club and even though he is still just a teenager, the Ireland fanbase can’t help but be excited about him.

The prospect of having a proper goal-scoring striker again, to maybe even build the team around is an exciting one.

Stephen Kenny will be without one of his most experienced players however, as Shane Duffy has been ruled out with a calf injury.

It is expected that Ireland will select a strong team for that friendly game against Latvia next Wednesday, with France set to come to Dublin for the first Euro 2024 qualifier the following Monday.

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