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03rd Sep 2020

What channel is the Ireland match on? Kick-off time, team news and everything else you need to know

James Fenton

The Ireland senior international football team return to the pitch tonight for the first time since November and for the first time ever under the management of Stephen Kenny.

The Boys in Green will be taking on Bulgaria in their opening UEFA Nations League encounter and while the stadium in Sofia will be largely empty, a nation of footballer supporters will be glued to their television screens back in Ireland.

Stephen Kenny gained a reputation for playing an exciting (most importantly, successful) brand of football while in charge of Dundalk and, later, the Ireland under-21 team so all eyes on the game tonight to see if he can replicate that style early. But where can you watch the game and what time should you have the kettle on? All is revealed below…

What channel is the Ireland match on?

The match will be aired on Sky Sports Football so if you haven’t got it, you best invite yourself over to one of your mates who has – while maintaining public health guidelines, of course.

What time is kick-off?

Ireland v Bulgaria gets underway at 7.45pm.

What’s at stake?

The game is Ireland’s first in a UEFA Nations League group which also features Finland and Wales. While the significance of the fledgling competition is still being debated, tonight’s game and Sunday’s clash with Finland should at least provide important preparation for next month’s crucial Euro 2020 (yes, it’s still called that despite now taking place in 2021) play-off with Slovakia next month.

How are we fixed?

While traveling to Eastern Europe is always tricky, Ireland will fancy their chances tonight. Bulgaria are nowhere near the level of their 1990s heyday and were hammered 6-0 at home by England last October.

What’s the team news?

Kenny should have a full squad to choose from and one selection decision is standing out – Matt Doherty or Seamus Coleman at right-back. With the former having been one of the top performing wing-backs in the Premier League of the past two years and having sealed a big-money move to Tottenham Hotspur last week, it could be time up for Ireland’s trusted captain as an automatic starter.

The match clashes with my Pilates class. Will I be able to watch highlights after?

Yes. Highlights will be shown on Virgin Media Two from 10pm with the full match following from 11pm for all the night owls out there.

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