Republic of Ireland call up Liam Scales, Callum Robinson and Alan Browne for Azerbaijan World Cup qualifier

Liam Scales receives first call-up with Alan Brown and Callum Robinson also named in Stephen Kenny's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Serbia; Watch Republic of Ireland vs Azerbaijan live on Sky Sports Football on Saturday from 4.30pm

Liam Scales
Image: Liam Scales could make his Republic of Ireland debut against Azerbaijan

Celtic defender Liam Scales has been called up by the Republic of Ireland squad for the first time with Alan Browne and Callum Robinson also drafted in for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan.

Scales, who joined Celtic from Shamrock Rovers last week, was included by Ireland boss Stephen Kenny after defensive duo Dara O'Shea and Nathan Collins were ruled out due to injury.

West Brom forward Robinson missed Ireland's last-gasp loss to Portugal after testing positive for Covid-19, with Preston midfielder Browne identified as a close contact of another positive case.

Both players have been cleared to link up with the squad as Ireland seek their first win in the World Cup qualifiers after three straight defeats.

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Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny says he's mystified as to why there has been a spike in Covid-19 cases within his squad

Kenny urged his team to maintain the standards they set in Portugal and break their duck at the Aviva Stadium.

He said: "We're at home, we want to really play with intensity, it's very important for us. We want to go and put in a strong performance and get the victory that we desire.

"Azerbaijan had very close games themselves with Serbia and Portugal, and we've seen Qarabag get to the group stages (in the Europa Conference League) and comprehensively beat Aberdeen during the week, so we'll have to earn the right to win, there's no doubt about that.

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Ireland suffered heartbreak in Faro as a late Cristiano Ronaldo double saw Portugal snatch a 2-1 win

"But we're determined to try to get that home victory. If we can get that home victory, it would be really special for everyone to celebrate it with the supporters and we have a huge desire to do that, and hopefully we can do it."

Matt Doherty, who delivered one of his best performances for Ireland against Portugal despite feeling unwell, said the players need to back up their display in Faro with a first win in Group A.

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"We know that we're kind of going in the right direction in terms of performance, but we're here to win games," said the Tottenham defender.

"We didn't obviously manage to do that, but Azerbaijan is the next game, so that's what we want to do. We need to get three points to get up and running."

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