This is the first of three fixtures in this international window for Ireland, with another qualifier against Luxembourg and a friendly against Qatar to come. Here are the games to keep an eye on over the next few days. . .
Wednesday, March 24th
Serbia v Ireland, Belgrade (7.45pm)
Portugal v Azerbaijan, Turin (7.45pm)
Saturday, March 27th
Ireland v Luxembourg, Dublin (7.45pm)
Serbia v Portgual, Belgrade (7.45pm)
Tuesday, March 30th
Azerbaijan v Serbia, Baku (5pm)
Luxembourg v Portgual, Luxembourg City (7.45pm)
Friendly: Qatar v Ireland, Debrecen (7.45pm)
5 minutes ago
Both Shane Duffy and Jeff Hendrick are on the bench tonight with Séamus Coleman returning to the first XI. It looks like a 3-5-2 for the Republic, with Matt Doherty and Enda Stevens as the wingbacks. Callum Robinson and Aaron Connolly start up front while Alan Browne, Josh Cullen and Jayson Molumby form a youthful midfield.
8 minutes ago
Serbia: Dmitrovic; Milenkovic, Stefan Mitrovic, Pavlovic; Gajic, Lukic, Racic, Mladenovic; Tadic, Vlahovic, Djuricic.
Ireland: Travers; Coleman, Clark, O’Shea; Doherty, Browne, Cullen, Molumby, Stevens; Robinson, Connolly.
12 minutes ago
Welcome to our coverage of Ireland’s opening World Cup qualifier, away to Serbia in Belgrade (kick-off 7.45pm).
The European Championships are now less than three months away, and we are still in the dark as to where the tournament will take place and under what circumstances.
There are currently no questions over the fate of the 2022 World Cup however, which will be held in Qatar, in the depths of winter.
The 2022 World Cup might be the most unappealing since the tournament’s inception in 1930, but after missing out on a place at the Euros, qualification is now the main aim for the Republic of Ireland and manager Stephen Kenny.
It has been a trying start to life as Ireland boss for Kenny, who has seen his side score just once in seven games since taking over. Add in the Covid-19 pandemic and numerous injuries and it’s safe to say the former Dundalk boss is due some good luck.
And that would be very welcome in Belgrade tonight, in what is likely to be one of the Republic’s tougher qualifying fixtures. With fixtures against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal to come later in the campaign, a fast start could be priceless.
We’ll be bringing you all of the action throughout.