Monday, December 4, 2023

Republic of Ireland call up former Scotland Under-21 winger Mikey Johnston for Euro 2024 qualifier vs France

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Celtic winger Mikey Johnston has been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for the first time since his switch of allegiance from Scotland was confirmed.

The 23-year-old Glaswegian, who qualifies for Ireland through his Derry-born grandfather, has been included in a 26-man party for the friendly against Latvia on Monday, March 22 and the opening Euro 2024 qualifier clash with World Cup runners-up France five days later.

Johnston, who is currently on loan at Portuguese club Vitoria Guimaraes, has represented Scotland at U21s level, but has opted to play his senior football for the Republic following talks with manager Stephen Kenny.

He made his Celtic debut as an 18-year-old under Brendan Rodgers in 2017 and has gone on to win the Scottish Premiership three times, two Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups, although a serious knee injury cost him almost a year of his fledgling career and he has struggled to re-establish himself in Ange Postecoglou’s side.

There are returns to the Ireland squad for the double-header in Dublin for Norwich duo Andrew Omobamidele and Adam Idah after injury.

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Gavin Bazunu is expected to start against France

The pair have not tasted international action since the 3-0 World Cup qualifier victory in Luxembourg in November 2021.

Derby midfielder Jason Knight is included after sitting out November’s friendly fixtures against Norway and Malta, as is Wigan striker Will Keane.

Squad: Gavin Bazunu (Southampton), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers, (Bournemouth), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Atletico Madrid), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich), Nathan Collins (Wolves), John Egan (Sheffield United), Dara O’Shea (West Brom), Callum O’Dowda (Cardiff), James McClean (Wigan), Josh Cullen (Burnley), Jayson Molumby (West Brom), Jeff Hendrick (Reading, on loan from Newcastle), Alan Browne (Preston), Jason Knight (Derby), Will Smallbone (Stoke, on loan from Southampton), Jamie McGrath (Dundee United, on loan from Wigan), Mark Sykes (Bristol City, Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham), Michael Obafemi (Burnley, on loan from Swansea), Evan Ferguson (Brighton), Adam Idah (Norwich), Troy Parrott (Preston, on loan from Tottenham), Will Keane (Wigan), Mikey Johnston (Vitoria Guimaraes, on loan from Celtic).

Republic of Ireland fixtures

Republic of Ireland v France – March 27 2023

Greece v Republic of Ireland – June 16 2023

Republic of Ireland v Gibraltar – June 19 2023

France v Republic of Ireland – September 7 2023

Republic of Ireland v Netherlands – September 10 2023

Republic of Ireland v Greece – October 13 2023

Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland – October 16 2023

Netherlands v Republic of Ireland – November 18 2023

Euro 2024 qualifying groups

Group A: Spain, Scotland, Norway, Georgia, Cyprus.

Group B: Netherlands, France, Republic of Ireland, Greece, Gibraltar.

Group C: Italy, England, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Malta.

Group D: Croatia, Wales, Armenia, Turkey, Latvia.

Group E: Poland, Czech Republic, Albania, Faroe Islands, Moldova.

Group F: Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Estonia.

Group G: Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Lithuania.

Group H: Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Northern Ireland, San Marino.

Group I: Switzerland, Israel, Romania, Kosovo, Belarus, Andorra.

Group J: Portugal, Bosnia, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Liechtenstein.

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