Ireland v Bulgaria: Time, channel, team news

Republic of Ireland Squad Training, FAI HQ, Abbotstown, Dublin 17/11/2020 Ronan Curtis Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Share this article
James Cox

The Republic of Ireland will look to finish an extremely disappointing UEFA Nations League campaign on a high this evening as they face Bulgaria.

Here's everything you need to know about the game.

Where is it and what time is kick-off?

The game takes place at the Aviva Stadium with a 7.45pm kick-off.

Where can I watch it?

The match will be aired live on Sky Sports Arena, with coverage from 7.30pm. Virgin Media Two will show highlights of the game at 10pm.

Team news

Stephen Kenny is yet to win a game as Ireland manager but he's had some awful luck in terms of injuries and Covid-19 cases.

Ireland are missing 13 players that featured in the squad initially named for this international break.

Seamus Coleman, John Egan, Enda Stevens, James McCarthy, Harry Arter, Matt Doherty, James McClean, Jeff Hendrick, Adam Idah, Aaron Connolly, Jayson Molumby, Alan Browne and Callum Robinson have all been ruled out due to a combination of injury, coronavirus and suspension.


Kenny has called up Shamrock Rovers duo Aaron McEneff and Graham Burke to bolster his options while Troy Parrott and Jack Taylor have been promoted from the Under-21 squad.

Bulgaria are also missing a number of regular starters due to positive Covid-19 cases.

Republic of Ireland Squad

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Caoimhín Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth)

Defenders: Kevin Long (Burnley), Shane Duffy (Celtic), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Cyrus Christie (Nottingham Forest), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), Ryan Manning (Swansea City).

Midfielders: Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), Jason Knight (Derby County), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Aaron McEneff (Shamrock Rovers), Jack Taylor (Peterborough United).

Attackers: James Collins (Luton Town), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Graham Burke (Shamrock Rovers), Troy Parrott (Millwall, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur). 

Republic of Ireland Squad Training, FAI HQ, Abbotstown, Dublin 17/11/2020 Daryl Horgan ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo


Ireland win: 5/6

Draw: 21/10

Bulgaria win: 7/2


Stephen Kenny: “This game is very important, and then we focus on the World Cup Qualifiers in March. By then, we'll have a back four that's back of players available like Seamus Coleman, Matt Doherty, John Egan and Enda Stevens. We'll have players like James McCarthy and Hary Arter available and attacking players like Aaron Connolly and Callum Robinson. That's just off the top of my head.

“These players that are getting their opportunity [against Bulgaria], will supplement the players, and create competition for places... We're building a squad of players.”

Conor Hourihane: "It hasn't been an easy camp, but everyone that's here will want to make an impression. It's their chance to shine now, and that's what happens in football. Chances come by in strange times. Lads will want to take their chance and prove to the manager what they're about.

“It's such a shame [without fans]. The supporters, the intensity, the energy around stadiums isn't there at the minute. That's just life.”

What's at stake?

In short, Ireland need a win tonight, and not just to get Kenny off the mark.

Only three points will do if Ireland want to be in with a chance of securing second seeding for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

They will also be relying on Romania not to beat Northern Ireland and Serbia to beat Russia.

If the three results don't go Ireland's way, it means third seeding and a very difficult path to the next World Cup.



Read More

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2021, developed by Square1 and powered by