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Megan Campbell starts for first time in three years as Pauw names team to face Finland

Plagued by injury for three years, the Liverpool defender earned her last cap in Vera Pauw’s first game in charge back in October 2019.

Megan Campbell is back in green.
Megan Campbell is back in green.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND manager Vera Pauw has named Megan Campbell in her starting side to face Finland in this evening’s crucial World Cup qualifier at Tallaght Stadium.

Liverpool’s Campbell, whose very career has been threatened by a horrendous sequence of serious knee and ankle injuries over the last three years, will start in green for the first time since October 2019 at left wing-back.

With her club skipper Niamh Fahey ruled out, the 29-year-old Drogheda woman will finally earn her 43rd Ireland cap wide left of Ireland’s defence. Meanwhile, Pauw has named among her three centre-backs Megan Connolly, who performed so well in the position during April’s 1-1 draw with Sweden in Gothenburg.

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Campbell’s inclusion sees Ireland captain Katie McCabe deployed in a more advanced role on the left wing.

There’s also a return on the bench for Kildare woman Hayley Nolan of the London City Lionesses, who was recalled by Pauw for the first time in a year after recovering from a shoulder injury.

Ireland can seal a play-off place with victory over Finland at a sold-out Tallaght Stadium this evening (kick-off 7pm).

Teams

IRELAND: Courtney Brosnan; Jamie Finn, Diane Caldwell, Louise Quinn, Megan Connolly, Megan Campbell; Jess Ziu, Denise O’Sullivan, Ruesha Littlejohn, Katie McCabe; Heather Payne.

Gavin Cooney
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FINLAND: Tinja-Riika Korpela; Elli Pikkujämsä, Anna Westerlund, Natalia Kuikka, Emma Koivisto; Olga Ahtinen, Eveliina Summanen, Heidi Kollanen; Jutta Rantala, Linda Sällström.

Referee: Stéphanie Frappart (France).

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