Under-21 European Championship 2025 qualifying
Republic of Ireland v Italy, Turner’s Cross, 5.30pm
Watch live coverage on RTÉ 2 and RTÉ Player from 5pm.
Follow a live blog on rte.ie/sport and the RTÉ News App.
It should be a dry evening in Cork with temperatures around 8c.
IRELAND PRIMED TO BOUNCE BACK
Ireland Under-21s will be looking to recover from their first defeat of the campaign – against Norway last Friday – when they take on Group A leaders Italy.
Just one point separates the Italians (10) from second-placed Ireland and Norway (both 9) after four games and more than 5,000 fans are expected at the game on Leeside.
In their final home outing of the year, Jim Crawford’s team will be looking to keep up an impressive record that has seen them undefeated on home soil for two years.
Republic of Ireland manager Jim Crawford has no major injury concerns and told RTÉ Sport that he is unconcerned by the argument over whether Blackburn tyro Andrew Moran should have been left in his squad rather than promoted to the senior side.
“A player of Andy Moran’s ability, he’s always going to be there or thereabouts with the senior team,” Crawford said.
“We knew that in the last window when he was called up for the senior team and unfortunately he got injured.
“In one way you’re hoping that he stays but for the player himself, and I broke the news to him, he was certainly overjoyed.
“To lose anybody of Andy’s quality, any team would feel it, but the bigger picture is it gives players at U21s level an opportunity to show that they can play at this stage.
“It also gives Andy a chance to bed himself into the senior team and I’ve no doubt he’ll play against New Zealand.”
Ireland went down 3-2 away to Norway in a closely fight encounter and Crawford reflected that “The result didn’t go our way but we know we could have come away with one or even three points.
“We stood up to the challenge and that’s what tomorrow will be another challenge against the red hot favourites for the group. It’s a chance to go toe-to-toe with a team with a squad made up of players in Serie A and Serie B players and we look forward to it.”
Ireland captain Anselmo Garcia MacNulty added: “We know we played a good game against Norway. We’ve spoken about it and know we need to improve from the goals conceded. We created a lot of chances against Norway and need to bring that into Italy. They (Italy) are a top country, top players but we have top players too.”
Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad
Goalkeepers: Tiernan Brooks (Cork City, on loan from Notts County), Killian Cahill (Brighton & Hove Albion), Josh Keeley (Tottenham Hotspur)
Defenders: James Abankwah (Charlton Athletic, on loan from Udinese), Tayo Adaramola (Crystal Palace), Sam Curtis (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Anselmo Garcia MacNulty (PEC Zwolle), Sean Grehan (Crystal Palace), Bosun Lawal (Fleetwood Town, on loan from Celtic), Connor O’Riordan (Crewe Alexandra), Sean Roughan (Lincoln City)
Midfielders: Baba Adeeko (Wigan Athletic), Zak Gilsenan (Blackburn Rovers), Matt Healy (Royal Francs Borains), Kian Leavy (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Adam Murphy (St. Patrick’s Athletic), Ollie O’Neill (Fulham), Killian Phillips (Wycombe Wanderers, on-loan from Crystal Palace)
Forward: Sinclair Armstrong (QPR), Conor Carty (St. Patrick’s Athletic, on loan from Bolton Wanderers), Aidomo Emakhu (Millwall), Johnny Kenny (Shamrock Rovers, on loan from Celtic), Armstrong Oko-Flex (FC Zürich), Tony Springett (Norwich City)
Watch Republic of Ireland Under-21 v Italy Under-21 in Euro 2025 qualifying on Tuesday from 5pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player and follow a live blog on www.rte.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app
Watch Republic of Ireland v New Zealand on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player on Tuesday from 7.30pm, follow a live blog on www.rte.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app or listen to commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra
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