Sports Update: Ireland debut for Robinson as O’Neill names starting line-up to face Wales

The Preston North End striker has been included in the team for tonight’s Uefa Nations League opener.

– Paul Dollery reports from Cardiff City Stadium

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND manager Martin O’Neill has handed a senior international debut to Callum Robinson for tonight’s opening game in the Uefa Nations League (7.45pm).

The Preston North End attacker has been named in the starting line-up for the clash with Wales at Cardiff City Stadium.

Callum Robinson
Callum Robinson will make his first competitive appearance for the Republic of Ireland tonight against Wales.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

After declaring for Ireland earlier this year, Robinson recently obtained an Irish passport. The 23-year-old was born in England but his maternal grandmother hailed from Monaghan.

The ex-Aston Villa forward, who represented England at underage level, opened his goalscoring account for the season in Preston’s 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

Martin O’Neill has been forced to contend with a lengthy list of absentees, with seven players currently injured and two others — Declan Rice and Harry Arter — also unavailable.

O’Neill’s selection suggests that a 3-5-2 formation may be deployed, but that won’t become clear until kick-off.

Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane will make his first start in a competitive international, while the team will be captained by Everton full-back Seamus Coleman in his first competitive outing for Ireland since fracturing his leg against Wales in March 2017.

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