Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Ireland v Belgium: TV channel, team news and kick-off time

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The Republic of Ireland men’s soccer team play their first game under interim manager John O’Shea on Saturday evening, March 23, at the Aviva Stadium. 

Former Manchester United player and Ireland assistant O’Shea was given the helm approaching these two friendly matches (Belgium on Saturday and Switzerland on Tuesday) as the FAI failed to secure the services of a permanent manager.

The vacancy arose after Stephen Kenny’s term in charge was not renewed last November after a run of poor results. 

Ireland play Belgium in a friendly on Saturday evening and here’s all you need to know.

TV CHANNEL

The game will be aired live on Virgin Media Two television with kick-off at 5pm. Coverage begins at 4pm. 

TEAM NEWS

Liam Scales and Troy Parrott were ruled out for these two games and O’Shea chose not to bring in late replacements. Jake O’Brien, Sammie Szmodics and Finn Azaz could all make their senior debuts. For Belgium, Man City star Kevin De Bruyne is the big absentee, along with strike Romelu Lukaki and Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

THE IRELAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Gavin Bazunu (Southampton), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Nathan Collins (Brentford), Andrew Omobamidele (Nottingham Forest), Dara O’Shea (Burnley), Jake O’Brien (Lyon), Robbie Brady (Preston North End), Festy Ebosele (Udinese), Ryan Manning.

Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Burnley), Jason Knight (Bristol City), Will Smallbone (Southampton). Jamie McGrath (Aberdeen), Callum O’Dowda (Cardiff City), Mark Sykes (Bristol City), Finn Azaz (Middlesbrough), Mikey Johnston (West Bromwich Albion).

Forwards: Evan Ferguson (Brighton and Hove Albion), Adam Idah (Celtic), Michael Obafemi (Millwall, on loan from Burnley), Sammie Szmodics (Blackburn Rovers), Chiedozie Ogbene (Luton Town).

THE BELGIUM SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Matz Sels (Nottingham Forest), Arnaud Bodart (Standard Liege), Thomas Kaminski (Luton Town).

Defenders: Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht), Thomas Meunier (Trabzonspor), Timothy Castagne (Fulham), Arthur Theate (Rennes), Wout Faes (Leicester City), Zeno Debast (Anderlecht), Koni De Winter (Genoa).

Midfielders: Youri Tielemans (Aston Villa), Charles De Ketelaere (Atalanta), Orel Mangala (Lyon), Amadou Onana (Everton), Aster Vranckx (Wolfsburg), Arthur Vermeeren (Atletico Madrid).

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Fenerbahce), Leandro Trossard (Arsenal), Jérémy Doku (Manchester City), Loïs Openda (RB Leipzig), Dodi Lukebakio (Sevilla), Johan Bakayoko (PSV).

BETTING ODDS

Ireland to win – 3/1

Belgium to win – 17/20

Draw – 12/5

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