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Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has explained his decision to leave Gavin Bazunu out of his starting XI ahead of the Boys in Green’s Uefa Nations League opener against Armenia.
Bazunu was a slight doubt heading into the Yerevan tie, and Kenny has since revealed that the reason he left his first-choice out was down to injury.
The Dubliner’s withdrawal sees Kelleher take his place, with Mark Travers’ position as third-choice appearing to be a constant by now.
Speaking to RTE ahead of the game, Kenny explained that Bazunu’s back injury has seen him ruled out.
“Gavin is ruled out really,” he explained. “He has a back injury. To be fair, Caoimhin hasn’t put a foot wrong in any of the four games. He’s been very impressive.
John O’Shea has said Ireland are in an enviable position when it comes to goalkeepers with Caoimhin Kelleher replacing the injured Gavin Bazunu.
Watch Armenia vs Ireland live on @RTE2 & @RTEplayer or listen in on @SatSportRTE. pic.twitter.com/rQYot9SPz3
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 4, 2022
“He gets the opportunity tonight and we’re very much at ease with that.”
Ireland head into their Uefa Nations League opener against Armenia with a point to prove in the competition.
The Boys in Green have yet to win a Nations League game under his tenure, or ever before. And they will be hoping that they can banish those bad memories.
Team News | Armenia v Republic of Ireland
Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher retains his spot from March whilst Troy Parrott gets the nod in the forward line 👏
Nathan Collins & Enda Stevens come into the defence as Ireland start their campaign 💪#COYBIG | #WeAreOne | #ARMIRL pic.twitter.com/AuR7jQ5Yef
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) June 4, 2022
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Stephen Kenny explains Caoimhin Kelleher pick over Gavin Bazunu – Pundit Arena