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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 18 May 2021

Ireland U21 stars Idah and Connolly set to make full senior debuts across the water tonight

There’s strong Irish involvement across the board in the Carabao Cup.

Ireland U21 star Adam Idah.
Ireland U21 star Adam Idah.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

IT’S A HUGE night for two talented Irish teenagers, Adam Idah and Aaron Connolly, who’ll make their first-team debuts for Norwich and Brighton and Hove Albion respectively.

Both Ireland U21 stars have earned places in their starting XIs for tonight’s Carabao Cup second round action, with Premier League side Norwich facing League Two outfit Crawley Town and Brighton, who also play in the English top flight, facing League One’s Bristol Rovers.

18-year-old Cork striker Idah marked his first start — be it non-competitive — for the Canaries by scoring twice in a pre-season friendly against German side Bonner SC in July. 

norwich Source: Norwich City.

Galway native Connolly, last season’s Premier League 2 [U23 equivalent] Player of the Year, has also been impressing in the Brighton set-up, and earns a start at the Memorial Stadium tonight.

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connolly Source: Brighton & Hove Albion.

Elsewhere, Michael Obafemi starts for Southampton against Fulham, with Shane Long on the bench.

Other Irish teenagers, Conor Coventry (West Ham), Jason Knight (Derby), Nathan Collins (Stoke) and Adam O’Reilly (Preston), are all substitutes.

James McCarthy makes his first start for Crystal Palace after joining the club earlier this month, and Conor Hourihane is another Irish star involved, named in Aston Villa’s starting XI for their meeting with Crewe.

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Emma Duffy

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