Republic of Ireland v Serbia live stream, Sky Sports, Tuesday 7 September, 7:45pm BST
Stephen Kenny will be looking to ease the pressure on his shoulders when the Republic of Ireland face Serbia on Tuesday.
It is fair to say that Kenny has had a disappointing start to his tenure in charge of the national team. Since replacing Mick McCarthy at the helm in April 2020 - a few months earlier than originally planned due to the postponement of the European Championship - Kenny has won only one of his 15 matches. That is despite the fact that Ireland have played Andorra, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg in that time, as well as beatable opponents like Qatar, Finland and Wales.
A 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan at the weekend was another low point for Kenny. The nature of Ireland's performance against Portugal, to whom they concede two late goals to lose 2-1, suggested the national team might be about to turn a corner. But the disappointing display against Azerbaijan, in which a late equaliser from Shane Duffy was required to avoid defeat, has left Kenny under fierce pressure.
The visit of Serbia could make things even worse for the former Dundalk boss. Ireland's upcoming opponents sit top of Group A thanks to a better goal difference than Portugal. Ireland are already nine points behind the top two, which means they can bid goodbye to any hopes of appearing at the 2022 World Cup.
Serbia eased to a 4-1 triumph over Luxembourg last time out, and their head-to-head race with Portugal means they cannot afford any dropped points in Dublin. Ireland did at least demonstrate some battling qualities in a 3-2 loss in the reverse fixture, and Kenny will hope for more of the same here.
The Boys in Green will have to make do without Seamus Coleman and Dara O'Shea through injury. Serbia do not have any fresh fitness concerns, so Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Tadic should all start up top.
Kick-off is at 7:45pm BST and the game is being shown live on Sky Sports Football the UK.
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