Stephen Kenny names attacking Ireland team to face Portugal
Another new-look Ireland XI.
Stephen Kenny has named his Ireland team to face Portugal in their 2022 World Cup qualifier in Faro.
Kenny has made several changes from the Ireland side that last took to the field, in a friendly with Hungary. Adam Idah and Aaron Connolly have both been named in attacking roles.
Gavin Bazunu again starts in goal and John Egan is reunited with Shane Duffy in the heart of the Irish defence. Dara O'Shea and Seamus Coleman are the starting full-backs.
Josh Cullen and Jeff Hendrick are in the centre of midfield, with Matt Doherty and Jamie McGrath set to occupy both flanks.
The Ireland bench includes the likes of Troy Parrott, Daryl Horgan, Ryan Manning, Caoimhin Kelleher and more. Shane Long does not make the bench, though. The Southampton striker has been ruled out, due to Covid-19.
Portugal are starting Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruben Dias, Diogo Jota, Pepé, Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes.
Ireland got their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a rocky start, with losses to Serbia (away) and Luxembourg (at home).
The Portugal game is the first of three in six days that will ultimately decide if they are still in with a playoff shout or already planning for Euro 2024. This Ireland team have it all to do against a strong Portuguese outfit.