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The Republic of Ireland entertain the Netherlands at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Sunday. The game will kick off at 19:45 local time and it’s a vital match in Group B of Euro 2024 qualifying as the two sides target the second qualifying position alongside the seemingly unstoppable French.
Republic of Ireland vs The Netherlands predicted lineups and news
While this is technically matchday six, it will only be the fourth group match for the Netherlands who were busy hosting the UEFA Nations League Finals in June. After a 4-0 defeat in Paris in their opening group game, the Dutch have responded with home wins over Gibraltar and Greece and could take a significant step towards a place in Germany next summer by leaving Dublin with three points.
For the Republic of Ireland, who have lost three of their opening four group fixtures with their only points coming against minnows Gibraltar, this already feels like a game they have to win. That won’t be easy against strong opposition, but Stephen Kenny would have known coming into the group that his team would need to upset at least one of the big boys, and this fixture would have been pencilled in as their best opportunity to do just that.
Team news: Republic of Ireland
Sinclair Armstrong and Johnathan Afolabi have been called up to the Ireland senior squad for the @EURO2024 Qualifier against the Netherlands on Sunday!
— All Things ROI (@AllThingsROI) September 8, 2023
The latest outing for the Republic of Ireland came on Thursday as they were defeated 2-0 in Paris against runaway group leaders France. Kenny’s side were dealt a huge blow prior to the game with Evan Ferguson, who at 18 has already emerged as the great new hope of Irish football, forced to pull out of the squad through injury. The striker scored a Premier League hat-trick only last weekend for Brighton but will be unavailable again here.
Ferguson’s absence is by no means the only selection issue for the Ireland boss but he will be boosted by the return of Matt Doherty here after the right back missed the France game due to suspension. Forward Will Keane picked up a knock in Paris though which has resulted in Kenny calling inexperienced strikers Sinclair Armstrong and Jonathan Afolabi up for this game. Neither has represented their country before with Bohemians forward Afolabi the only League of Ireland player in the squad.
Enda Stevens is also ruled out with an injury sustained in France which could see James McClean recalled to the eleven.
Republic of Ireland predicted lineup
Bazunu, Egan, Duffy, Collins, McClean, Cullen, Molumby, Doherty, Knight, Idah, Ogbene
Team news: The Netherlands
The Netherlands are also dealing with a number of injury absentees. Memphis Depay is the most notable which leaves the squad light on experienced attacking options and no player in Ronald Koeman’s squad has scored more than 7 international goals. That’s placing greater responsibility on younger players like Cody Gakpo who was on the scoresheet in the 3-0 win over Greece on Thursday.
That was a much needed morale boost for Koeman who has come under pressure after a series of poor results since his return to the role at the start of the year. Despite home advantage, the Dutch lost both games in the Nations League Finals in June and have conceded 3 or more goals in 3 of their 5 matches since Koeman’s return.
The Netherlands predicted lineup
Flekken, De Vrij, Van Dijk, Geertruida, Blind, De Roon, De Jong, Dumfries, Gakpo, Weghorst, Simons
Will Nathan Ake play?
The visitors are sweating over the fitness of defender Nathan Ake who suffered a hamstring problem against Greece and was withdrawn at Half Time. The Manchester City man has become an important player for his national team and while there may have been an element of caution about his substitution with the Netherlands already 3-0 up, Ake is considered a major doubt for this game which could see Stefan de Vrij return to the backline.
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