Connolly returns to Ireland starting XI for Finland tie

Dublin , Ireland - 12 October 2020; Aaron Connolly and Daryl Horgan, right, during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin.

Aaron Connolly has been named in the side for Ireland's UEFA Nations League clash against Finland in Helsinki.

The Brighton striker was ruled out of last week's Euro 2020 play-off defeat to Slovakia after been named as a close contact to an FAI staff member who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Subsequently, that test turned out to be a false positive and by right, the Galway native should have been available to play the vital game in Bratislava.

Connolly was expected to start that match and will now get a chance to resume his fledgling Ireland career as he is expected to line up on the left side of an attacking formation.

The Irish defence has a familiar look to it with Dara O'Shea the only addition to the regular three of Shane Duffy, Enda Stevens and Matt Doherty.

West Brom defender, O'Shea will make his senior debut for Ireland.

Doherty returns to his right-back position, having played most of the Wales game in the middle of defence following Kevin Long's departure with an eye injury.

Sean Maguire gets his first start under the new manager and the Preston attacker will lead the line, while Daryl Horgan will play on the right of the attack.

In the middle of the park, Jeff Hendrick, Conor Hourihane and Jayson Molumby will share midfield duties.

Republic of Ireland: Darren Randolph; Matt Doherty, Enda Stevens, Shane Duffy, Dara O'Shea; Conor Hourihane, Jeff Hendrick, Jayson Molumby; Aaron Connolly, Daryl Horgan, Sean Maguire.

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