Paddy Power League Of Ireland Ambassador Alan Cawley is expecting at least one debutant to start for the Republic Of Ireland when Stephen Kenny’s tenure starts against Bulgaria next Thursday.
The former Dundalk manager named a number of debutants in his Nations League squad earlier this week and in his latest column with Paddy Power News, Cawley reckons Jayson Molumby, to name just one, will earn his first cap in the green jersey in Sofia next week.
“I like the squad Stephen Kenny has named as he has kept some of the old guard, particularly at the back, and I think we’re looking very solid there, ” Alan explained.
“He’s added a lot of freshness with a lot of the youngsters coming into the squad and he’s also brought back James McCarthy and Harry Arthur into midfield and they’ve both had really good seasons.
“I think it’s a really good squad and I’m sure Stephen will put his imprint on it. I like the look of the squad and I think it’s very exciting.
“When the team gets named next week, I’d be expecting Jayson Molumby to be in the team to make his international debut. I’m a big fan of him and I know Stephen is a big fan of him as well. There’s a lot of hype about our attacking youngsters but I think Jayson is the most exciting player we have coming through. He was captain of the Ireland U21 side which Stephen managed and Jayson is a very competitive and vocal player and leads by example on the pitch.
“He’s already built up that relationship with Stephen and I know from speaking to Stephen that he’s very fond of Jayson. Of all the younger lads who are coming through, I’d be expecting Jayson to start against Bulgaria.
“This is a great opportunity for him and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do well in the games next week and earn a starting place in the Play-Off game against Slovakia in November. I rate him that highly and I know Stephen does also.
“With regard to who will start up front against Bulgaria, we know that Stephen will play a 4-3-3 formation and we know David McGoldrick won’t be ready until the Finland match.
“Next Thursday, I can see Shane Long starting up front as he done well towards the latter part of the season with Southampton. There’s a lot of options on the wings with the likes of Callum Robinson, who’s done well with West Brom, but I would be expecting Aaron Connolly to start on one of the wings.
“Stephen has spoken a lot about speed in the squad and Aaron is exciting and he’s got pace. I definitely think he’ll start against Bulgaria and it’s a good opportunity for him.
“As to when we get to the play off game, I’d be expecting McGoldrick to start up front through the middle but the Bulgaria game is a great opportunity for some of the younger attackers which we have in the squad to impress.”
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