The Republic of Ireland take on Qatar in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium this evening.
Stephen Kenny secured his first competitive win as Ireland manager last week after a 3-0 victory over Azerbaijan, and he’ll be hoping for another win tonight.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game:
This is technically a ‘World Cup preparation match’ as Qatar have been placed in Ireland’s group, but there are no points at stake. For Kenny, it’s all about going for a third win as Ireland manager.
The game kicks off at 7.45pm.
Where can I watch?
The game will be live on RTÉ 2 and Sky Sports.
Republic of Ireland v Qatar – Opta Stats
- This is only the second meeting between Ireland and Qatar, drawing 1-1 at the Nagyerdei Stadium in Hungary this year.
- Ireland have won four of their last five home friendly matches (D1), winning their last two against Bulgaria in September 2019 and New Zealand in November 2019.
- Qatar are without a win in five matches in all competitions (D1 L4) since beating El Salvador 3-2 in July.
- Ireland are winless in seven home matches in all competitions (D5 L2), their longest such run since May 1971 (12 games).
- Ireland’s Callum Robinson scored a brace against Azerbaijan last time out, this after having only scored once in his first 20 senior international appearances for the nation beforehand. The last player to score in back-to-back appearances for the Republic of Ireland was Jonathan Walters in 2017.
Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is set for his first start whilst Josh Cullen and Daryl Horgan remain doubtful following the Azerbaijan match.
Stephen Kenny: “Caoimhin is a real natural goalkeeper, a terrific talent, he played ten times for me as Ireland U-21 manager and I’m well aware of his qualities.
“He was just unfortunate the last season when he was injured and that opened the door in March for Gavin Bazunu who has been terrific.
“He (Kelleher) made his debut at half-time in the game against Hungary, this is his first start tomorrow in front of the home crowd and he deserves it.”
Caoimhin Kelleher: “I think hopefully I’ll get the opportunity tomorrow, it would be nice to get a first start for Ireland.
“I’ve a good few family coming up to watch the game. In front of the home fans to make my first start would be a special and proud moment for me.
“Gavin has been brilliant in goal, and it’s brilliant to see. We work as a group and support everything each other does so it has been brilliant to see him do so well.”
Republic of Ireland Squad v Qatar
Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Portsmouth, on loan from Manchester City), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).
Defenders: Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), John Egan (Sheffield United), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Nathan Collins (Burnley), Liam Scales (Celtic).
Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Harry Arter (Charlton Athletic, on loan from Nottingham Forest), Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren), Jason Knight (Derby County).
Attackers: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), James Collins (Cardiff City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Adam Idah (Norwich City), Troy Parrott (MK Dons, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United).