Our Ireland XI to face Andorra in friendly clash

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Our Ireland XI to face Andorra: read our predicted 11 as Ireland face Andorra in their first summer international friendly tomorrow night.

As Ireland regroups from their respective league seasons it’s time to finally get a win on the board. The Boys in Green return to international duty after a rough opening to their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Defeats to Serbia and Luxembourg weren’t in the game plan for manager Stephen Kenny as Ireland sits bottom of their group. However, this nine day training camp in Spain is exactly what the team needs to get things right.

This will be a big test as Kenny will finally have time to work with the players bedding in a philosophy. Ireland will face Andorra and Hungary during that nine day window as a true test of their work.

For tomorrow’s game with so many new young faces we’ve gone with an experimental starting eleven. So, without further a due let’s look at our predicted Ireland 11 to face Andorra.

Formation 4-1-4-1

Kenny has had a varied number of formations during his tenure so far so it’s tough to choose a predicted shape. However, we’ve gone with a 4-1-4-1 which we feel would best suit the players available in the squad.

Goalkeeper

In an ideal world, we would have gone with the experience of Darren Randolph for this game. However, with the West Ham man pulling out with injury, we’d love to see Caoimhin Kelleher get his chance.

The 22 year old is Ireland’s highest profile keeper making his Premier League and Champions League debuts this season. Despite the Cork man not being able to match Randolph for experience we think he’ll start tomorrow.

Defence

At right back we’ve gone with captain Seamus Coleman to lead the line at right back. His experience was sorely missed in the last few camps but in the previous games, he was Irelands best player.

At centre back we’ve gone with Andrew Omobamidele and John Egan. Omobamidele has seen a meteoric rise in football over the last six months. The 18 year old is calm, composed, and an old head on young shoulders.

He has been a crucial part of the Norwich squad this season as they gained promotion back to the Premier League. We think he’ll start especially given how attacking and possession based Norwich play, he’d slot into Kenny’s system easily.

John Egan has been a miss for Ireland alongside Coleman and Randolph and his inclusion will be a huge plus. He returns to the Ireland squad from injury after a relegation season with Sheffield, we think he’ll definitely start.

At left back with Enda Stevens still out injured, Ryan Manning will be the man to step in. He has yet to have his best performance in an Irish jersey, but this could be his chance. In the squad, he is by far the most experienced left back at 24 years of age.

Midfield

In defensive midfield, we’ve gone with Josh Cullen. Cullen has been Irelands best player outside the UK with Anderlecht after a great season securing European football.

He is one of Irelands few players getting frequent game time with the midfielder playing over 21 games this season. In previous games, he was one of Ireland’s few bright sparks that impressed pundits and fans alike.

In central midfield, we’ve gone with Jamie McGrath and Sam Szmodics, two creative and exciting young players.  McGrath has been one of the SPLs best players this season, winning St Mirren’s player of the year.

Alongside Sam Szodics, a late inclusion into the squad but one that Kenny has been watching for a long time. Szomdics has played over 42 games for Peterborough in League One this season, scoring 15 goals. They are two players who demand the ball and can score goals, bringing something potentially different to the Ireland setup.

On the right and left wings, we’ve gone with Ronan Curtis and new recruit Chiedozie Ogbene. With Callum Robinson and Aaron Connolly out injured, Ogbene and Curtis offer much needed pace on the wings.

Both have been mainstays in their teams this season despite not scoring many goals. Both bring lots of creativity with their troublesome dribbling and pace that Ireland greatly lacks.

Attack

As the lone striker, we’ve opted for James Collins. With such a young squad with an average age of nearly 23/24 years of age, the experience will be vital. Despite not having many Ireland caps to his name, Collins is an English league veteran at 30 years old.

At 6″2 he’s Irelands target man who’s big, strong, and will be a threat from set-pieces. Collins can easily hold the ball up for pacey wingers Ogbene and Curtis bringing them into play.

Luton Town expecting star striker James Collins to be named in Ireland squad for opening Euro 2020 qualifiers - Irish Mirror Online

How it looks on paper 

That’s our team to face Andorra tomorrow evening, let us know in the comments what you think. See below how the team will look out on the pitch.

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