Finland vs Republic of Ireland LIVE build-up, start time, stream information and more for the Nations League clash. Stephen Kenny has one last shot at taking a win from this international window as the Republic of Ireland face Finland tonight.
Kenny’s side are in Helsinki for the Nations League clash and are on the hunt for their first ever Nations League win – and a first win for Kenny himself in his fifth game in charge.
But it hasn’t been a straightforward international window as positive Covid-19 cases rocked the Ireland camp before a penalty shootout loss to Slovakia ended their Euro 2020 dream.
A host of key players have since been lost to injury as well as close contacts of a positive Covid case within the playing squad.
After Ireland’s 0-0 draw at home to Wales, the squad were thrown into further disarray after another player tested positive for the bug, but a re-test later returned a false positive.
With so many off-field distractions, Kenny is now left with a youthful Ireland side as they chase their first victory of 2020.
The game will not be shown live on free-to-air TV in Ireland, with fans only able to watch the game live on Sky Sports.
Kick-off at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium is at 5 pm Irish time and you can follow all the live updates below.
THE Republic of Ireland are still looking for their first win under Stephen Kenny.
They take on Finland in Helsinki – looking to avenge last month’s 1-0 defeat in Dublin.
The Irish camp has faced huge disruption over the last week – with Covid-19 throwing preparations into disarray.
The squad delayed their departure to Finland after a player tested both positive and negative before finally returning a further negative test.
Keep up to date with all the action here:
Stephen Kenny confirms there is no more Covid cases in the Irish camp and praises Dara O’Shea ahead of his debut for Ireland tonight while speaking to Sky.
Kenny also adds that he is delighted to have Aaron Connolly back in the Ireland squad.
So Dara O’Shea is set to make his senior debut for Ireland after a fantastic couple of seasons with West Brom.
Daryl Horgan has been rewarded after his positive impact against Wales as kick off is 30 minutes away
Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph has said that morale remains high in the Ireland camp.
Stephen Kenny’s side have one game to go before the end of the international break and play Sweden on Wednesday.
Let’s not forget that Finland will have the backing of 8,000 socially-distanced home supporters in Helsinki this evening.
UEFA recently ruled that stadiums could be 30% full for internationals if local rules permitted and Finland’s relatively low rate of coronavirus cases allows them to avail of that rule tonight.
It will almost feel odd for those tuning in to watch a game of football that has fans in attendance! Strange times indeed.
A chilly, windy evening for football in Helsinki with the temperature at around 8 degrees celsius.
Here’s a look at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium with just under 40 minutes to go until kick-off.
Starts for former League of Ireland stars Kenny knows well
Both Sean Maguire and Daryl Horgan played under Kenny during his successful time as Dundalk manager – which led to him getting the Ireland gig.
Horgan was a key man in Dundalk’s 2016 Europa League journey and helped Kenny rack up plenty of domestic honours at Oriel Park.
Maguire was out of favour during his 2015 stint with the club but went on to set the domestic league alight with his goal-scoring for Cork City before sealing a move to Preston.
Both will hope to impress tonight and stake a claim for regular international football under Kenny.
A strong Ireland team
Kenny has handed a debut to Dara O’Shea at centre half in an exciting Ireland line-up.
Darren Randolph starts in between the sticks, with O’Shea joining captain Shane Duffy in the heart of defence.
Matt Doherty returns to right-back after filling in as centre-back cover against Wales – while Enda Stevens is named at left-back.
Jayson Molumby retains his place in midfield after his Man of the Match display against the Welsh, he’ll play alongside Conor Hourihane and Jeff Hendrick.
Aaron Connolly returns on the left wing after missing last week’s Slovakia loss, while Daryl Horgan makes his first start under the new boss.
The duo will play either side of Preston North End striker Sean Maguire.