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Shane Duffy dropped and Seamus Coleman returns to Irish team against Serbia

Jeff Hendrick also misses out as Stephen Kenny trusts youth in Belgrade.

Shane Duffy.
Shane Duffy.
Image: Tomi Hänninen/INPHO

Updated Mar 24th 2021, 6:40 PM

STEPHEN KENNY HAS dropped Shane Duffy and Jeff Hendrick from his starting team to face Serbia in tonight’s World Cup qualifier. 

Seamus Coleman returns to start his first game for Ireland since October 2019, with Dara O’Shea and Ciaran Clark forming a new centre-back partnership in front of goalkeeper Mark Travers, making his first competitive start.

It looks likely to be a 5-3-2 for Ireland, with Coleman, O’Shea and Clark across the centre back positions with Matt Doherty and Enda Stevens at wing-back. 

Jayson Molumby and Josh Cullen form a midfield trio with Alan Browne, with Aaron Connolly and Callum Robinson up front.  

Serbia, meanwhile, are expected to line up in a 3-4-3 with a side stacked with attacking talent including Dusan Tadic and Fiorentina starlet Dusan Vlahovic. They have left Sergej Milinkovic-Savic on the bench, along with strikers Luka Jovic and Aleksander Mitrovic. 

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Ireland are seeking to get their Group A campaign off to the perfect start away to the second seeds and primary opponents in the battle to finish second in the group and earn a play-off place. 

The game kicks off at 7.45pm, and is live on RTÉ Two and Sky Sports Football. 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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