Chloe Mustaki faces a competitive debut for Ireland against Sweden while Vera Pauw makes three changes

Chloe Mustaki will make her competitive bow for Ireland in tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Sweden in Gothenburg as coach Vera Pauw makes three changes to the side that struggled against Georgia last time out.

The match will be broadcast live on RTÉ2 and globally on RTÉ Player and will start at 17:30 Irish time (18:30 local time).

Mustaki was player of the match in the Pinatar Cup loss to Russia in February.

Shelbourne’s Mustaki, who has overcome lymphoma and a cruciate ligament injury, is brought in as the expected left-back, while Pauw opts to place Megan Connolly in the difficult left-back position.

The other two changes from the Georgia game see Jamie Finn reinstated to repeat her role at right-back from the second leg against Sweden in Dublin last October, replacing Jess Ziu.

Up front, Heather Payne makes her expected return ahead of Kyra Carusa.

The Swedes defeated Georgia 15-0 last weekend and made four changes to their squad, two of which were enforced with Manchester City midfielder Filippa Angeldal and Barcelona striker Fridolina Rolfo both ruled out with Covid symptoms, although both have been ruled out trained yesterday and tested positive.

They’ve also made an expected goalkeeper change, with Hedvig Lindahl ousting Jennifer Falk.

Ireland play their fifth game of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifiers in Gothenburg on Tuesday night when they take on Group A leaders Sweden.

Vera Pauw’s side are currently second in the group – 11 points behind Sweden with a game in hand. Sweden needs a single point to qualify for next year’s tournament.

“It’s the kind of game we want to be in and experience if we want to achieve our goal of qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023,” Pauw said as the kick-off went before her 20th birthdayth game responsible.

“We’re going to a packed stadium to play the second-tier team in women’s football, so we have no choice but to step up our game.

“We prepared as well as we could within the time frame given to us. We have four difficult qualifiers ahead of us in our group and feel ready to take on those challenges.

“Sweden is next in line and we fully respect their quality. We know we have to adapt to their game as they are world number two.

“We hope to continue the good form we’ve shown in the last couple of games and compete as a team against this huge team.

Sweden – Hedvig Lindahl; Amanda Ilestedt, Linda Sembrant, Magdalena Eriksson; Hanna Glas, Hanna Bennison, Captain Caroline Seger, Jonna Andersson; Lina Hurtig, Kosovare Asilani, and Stina Blackstenius.

Ireland – Courtney Brosnan; Niamh Fahey, Louise Quinn, Megan Connolly: Jamie Finn, Ruesha Littlejohn, Denise O’Sullivan, Chloe Mustaki; Lucy Quinn, Katie McCabe; Heather Payne.

Referee – Iuliana Demetrescu Chloe Mustaki faces a competitive debut for Ireland against Sweden while Vera Pauw makes three changes

Fry Electronics Team

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