Adam Idah will make his Ireland debut alongside Hourihane and Egan

Adam Idah will make his Ireland debut alongside Hourihane and Egan

Adam Idah during a Republic of Ireland training session at FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

CORK native Adam Idah is set to earn his first senior Republic of Ireland cap on Thursday night in Stephen Kenny’s maiden game in charge of the Boys in Green. 

Much has been made of the former College Corinthians striker's inclusion in the senior squad and now the Norwich attacker will be asked to lead the line against Bulgaria in Sofia tonight.

It’s a risky move by Kenny to trust the 19-year-old to lead the line tonight but having worked with Idah during his time as U21 manager, the former Dundalk manager clearly believes in the talented young gun.

Two other Rebels, Bandon's Conor Hourihane and Bishopstown's John Egan will also start against Bulgaria.

It’s a new era for the Irish team and many have been sceptical of Kenny’s appointment and particularly the circumstances in which he was appointed – knowing he would be taking the job after two years as U21 manager. 

For years, Irish fans have been starved of watching their team play attractive football but after watching the way the U21s played under Kenny, there is optimism that the Dubliner could finally be the man to deliver the style of football the Irish fans want to see.

Questions have been asked about what formation Kenny will decide to play. Whether to play three at the back or stick with the traditional four. It seems the former Dunfermline manager will continue with playing with his preferred choice of 4-3-3 with Darren Randolf in goal.

A back four of Tottenham’s new man, Matt Doherty at right-back, John Egan partnering Shane Duffy at centre-back and Enda Stevens at left-back.

Playing in front of those will be James McCarthy, Conor Hourihane and Jeff Hendrick.

Up alongside Idah will be Bristol City’s Callum O’ Dowda and Aaron Connolly. 

There will be no starting places for James McClean or Shane Long but the big omission from the starting 11 will be Ireland captain Seamus Coleman.

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