Sheffield United defender John Egan set to captain Republic of Ireland in Bulgaria friendly

Sheffield United ace John Egan will skipper the Republic of Ireland team for the first time this evening, as the side take on Bulgaria in a friendly match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 3:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 3:42 pm
(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Despite having just two senior caps for his nation, manager Mick McCarthy has recognised the strong leadership skills the centre-back can offer his team, and has given him the nod to wear the armband in Dublin.

Ireland will feel confident of securing a win against their opposition, who are ranked 60th in the world, after they were dispatched with ease by England 4-0 in a Euro 2020 qualifier last Saturday night.

The 26-year-old is one of four United stars representing The Boys in Green on the current international break, with Enda Stevens, David McGoldrick and Callum Robinson also involved.

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However, the latter pair returned to the club after Ireland's first match against Switzerland - a 1-1 draw in which McGoldrick scored a dramatic late equaliser - with injury concerns; Robinson picked a hamstring strain, and McGoldrick is nursing a shoulder injury.

Sheffield United will be eager to continue their positive momentum when Premier League action resumes this weekend, and build upon their 2-2 draw with Chelsea to deliver a solid result against Southampton.

The Blades haven't beaten the Saints in their last three attempts, but Chris Wilder's side will be hopeful of ending that streak in front of a packed Bramall Lane on Saturday.