Duffy and Hendrick left out Ireland side to face Serbia

Ciaran Clark and Dara O’Shea named in central defence for game in Belgrade

 Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has named his side for the opening World Cup qualifier against Serbia. Photograph: Novak Djurovic/PA Wire

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has named his side for the opening World Cup qualifier against Serbia. Photograph: Novak Djurovic/PA Wire

 

Stephen Kenny has dropped the only player to have scored a goal since he took over as Ireland manager with Shane Duffy among the substitutes for the opening World Cup qualifier of the new campaign in Belgrade this evening (7.45pm kick-off).

Jeff Hendrick, who had started all but one of Ireland’s games in the autumn before he was dismissed against Wales and suspended for the scoreless draw in Bulgaria, also misses out along with Robbie Brady and Shane Long.

In their places, Ciaran Clark will partner Dara O’Shea in the team’s new-look central defence while Josh Cullen is among the starters in midfield and Callum Robinson and Aaron Connolly both feature in attack.

Séamus Coleman returns to the team but Matt Doherty retains his place for what is set to be one of the key games of the campaign.

IRELAND: Travers, Coleman (capt), Stevens, Clark, Doherty, Browne, Connolly, Robinson, Molumby, Cullen, O’Shea.

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