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Do you agree with our Ireland team to face Ukraine?

Stephen Kenny is set to make some changes following the disappointing defeat in Armenia.

The Irish team as they lined out against Armenia.
The Irish team as they lined out against Armenia.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Caoimhín Kelleher: With Gavin Bazunu ruled out, Kelleher seems to be the clear second choice in Kenny’s mind despite Mark Travers’ excellent season with Bournemouth.

Shane Duffy: Didn’t do much wrong against Armenia and so Duffy is expected to retain his place on Wednesday. 

Nathan Collins: Making his competitive debut, the 21-year-old had a couple of awkward moments early on in Yerevan but grew more assured as the game progressed. As the least experienced member of the back three, Collins would be the most likely to come out of the team if Kenny opts for a change, but the Burnley defender did his cause no harm at the weekend and is expected to start again.

John Egan: Has become one of the first names on the teamsheet in recent times, and that is unlikely to change against the Ukrainians

Chiedozie Ogbene: Seamus Coleman has been ruled out for tomorrow’s match and whether he would have started regardless is debatable. If Kenny is looking to add greater attacking thrust to the right wing-back role, Cyrus Christie, Ogbene or possibly even the uncapped Festy Ebosele could be deployed there. The Rotherham player finished the game in Yerevan in that position, so he is perhaps the slight favourite to get the nod.

James McClean: Enda Stevens didn’t have his best game against Armenia and was replaced by McClean in the 72nd minute. Kenny may consequently be tempted to reverse their roles for this upcoming match, with the Derry native playing from the outset and the Sheffield United man an option off the bench if required.

Josh Cullen: Helped Ireland control the play in Yerevan before being substituted, amid the desperate search for an equaliser, with 10 minutes remaining. Cullen has become a favourite under Kenny though, having started all their World Cup qualifiers, so it would be a surprise if he was not picked on Wednesday.

Alan Browne: Jeff Hendrick produced some nice passes in Yerevan in the early stages but faded as the game wore on, as the lack of game time at club level likely had an impact. It’s a big ask to play two games in four days, so Kenny may opt to freshen things up. Arguably more than any other midfielder in the squad, Browne has an eye for goal as he showed against Belgium, so he may be given a chance from the outset tomorrow following an appearance late on at the weekend.

Jason Knight: Some people expected the Derby youngster to feature from the start on Saturday, but Knight had to be content with a substitute appearance. But after the weekend’s demoralising defeat, the energy and enthusiasm he routinely offers could be key to an improved result.

Callum Robinson: Like many others in the team, Robinson wasn’t at his best against Armenia. Yet the 27-year-old remains Kenny’s team’s most prolific player. He has failed to score in his last three internationals but was on a hot streak before then with six goals in four. In a side that often struggles to find the net, dropping him would be a risky call.

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Michael Obafemi: Didn’t impact the game in the way he would have hoped after being introduced in the 65th minute in Yerevan, nonetheless, Kenny may feel it’s time to give the 21-year-old an opportunity from the start, after his impressive end to the season with Swansea. Will Keane, who was also introduced off the bench against the Armenians, is another potential option if Troy Parrott, who struggled to have a big influence on Saturday, does not retain his place.

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Republic of Ireland Squad 

Goalkeepers: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth), James Talbot (Bohemians).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), 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 (Aston Villa), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jason Knight (Derby County). 
Forwards: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur), Scott Hogan (Birmingham City), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Michael Obafemi (Swansea City), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United), CJ Hamilton (Blackpool), Festy Ebosele (Derby County).

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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