11 total views, 3 views today
Our Ireland XI to face Luxembourg this weekend: after defeat to Serbia on Tuesday, let’s look at the possible squad to face their next opponents.
Despite defeat against Serbia on Tuesday, Stephen Kenny has countless positives heading into the weekend. They produced a great performance, arguably their best since the Slovakia game, and finally broke their scoring duck.
The midfield was energetic, always looking to receive the ball and look for a pass. Ireland had really encouraging spells of possession and was unlucky not to get anything from the game. Unfortunately, that was down to two classy goals from Mitrovic with one a result of Travers positioning error. Luxembourg could be huge value so maybe using Bookmaker bonus codes and try your luck on an outsider.
Let’s look ahead to the game this weekend against Luxembourg with our predicted lineup.
We feel Kenny will stick with the same formation as the last game against Serbia. The shape gave Ireland great movement going forward and numbers in defence. The formation also allowed our two best players of Coleman and Doherty to finally play together.
This also gives most of our players the freedom of play with most familiar with this formation at club level.
In goals, we’ve opted for the young Gavin Bazunu from Rochdale to lead Ireland’s backline. Despite being a young keeper at 19, he has played over 28 games this season in league one. This is more than all of our keepers in the squad combined. Mark Travers lack of game time in the Serbia match clearly showed with his indecisiveness throughout.
His indecision to come for numerous balls and being at fault for the second goal ultimately cost Ireland a result. Travers needs to be taken out of the firing line and replaced by someone playing regularly.
At right wing back we’ve stuck with Matt Doherty, despite being flat in the last game. He gives us that bit of skill and quality in the final third when needed as one of our best players. The Dubliner appeared to go missing during the Serbia game but had flashes of good play which he hopefully replicates.
At right centre back we’ve gone with our captain Seamus Coleman to retain his spot after such an impressive performance. His absence was clearly felt in the last few games with the lack of cohesion in defence. The other night he truly showed his class with last ditch tackles and marshaling the backline.
At centre back we’ve stuck with Clark and O’Shea who also had a good game despite the goals conceded. Clark was arguably at fault for Serbia’s third goal struggling to compete in the air with Mitrovic.
Darren Lenihan could possibly step in for O’Shea given his experience at Blackburn playing a similar style to Ireland. However, we feel Kenny will stick with the same pairing who are our highest profile available in the Premier League.
At left back we’ve agreed Enda Stevens is our man despite Ryan manning impressing at Swansea. Stevens thrived defensively in the 5-3-2 shape having played it at Sheffield for so many years.
In the middle of the park, we’ve gone with the same trio of Browne, Cullen, and Molumby. The midfield played extremely well together, cutting lanes and always looking for the ball even in tight areas.
With Ireland struggling with some injuries to that of Hourihane, McCarthy, and others we can’t see this changing. With Kenny discovering a great dynamic trio changing it in a must win game could be costly.
In attack with Aaron Connolly ruled out injured we expected James Collins to take his place up top. Collins impressed in the last game doing what Connolly struggled to do. He held up the ball, chased lost causes, dispersed the ball well, and got a goal.
His physical presence is something Ireland lacked in the Serbia game and at 6”2, he gives just that. We expect Robinson to start alongside him having had one of his best performances in a green shirt against the Serbs.
Collins’s size and presence with Robinson’s trickery and pace would give Ireland an interesting dynamic.
How it looks on paper
That’s our team to face Luxembourg tomorrow night in Dublin; see the full lineup down below.
Read our other articles on everything sport, keeping you up to date at Sports News Ireland.
Click here for more