Football

Republic Of Ireland Set For Friendly With Northern Ireland

Republic Of Ireland Set For Friendly With Northern Ireland

The Republic of Ireland will play Northern Ireland in a friendly match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Thursday 15th of November. Kick off will be at 19.45.

It will be the first game between the two countries since May 2011, when Giovanni Trapattoni's men won 5-0. The match will also be the first time that Michael O’Neill and Martin O’Neill will cross swords as international managers.

The friendly is taking place because both the Republic and Northern Ireland have only two other countries in their respective League Of Nations groups, so UEFA have a mandate that countries with only three teams in their group should play a friendly while competitive League Of Nations fixtures are taking place. The match will take place a week before the final round of League B of the League Of Nations where Ireland play Denmark and Northern Ireland play Austria.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill expressed his satisfaction with the arrangement:

It means that we can stay on the island for the week, train in our usual environment and play a game that will be a good test for us ahead of the Austria match.

Both countries qualified for UEFA EURO 2016 and both narrowly missed out on qualification for Russia, so it will be an evenly matched and hard-fought contest.

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Eoin Lyons

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