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Huge name returns to Northern Ireland squad ahead of showdown in Dublin

Extra.ie logo Extra.ie 09/11/2018 Martin Healy
a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Northern Ireland will travel down to Dublin next Thursday to take on Martin O’Neill and his Republic of Ireland side in what will be the first meeting between the two in over seven years.

While the elder O’Neill already announced his squad earlier this week, the young O’Neill has now followed suit.

A big star is returning to the Northern Ireland squad. The squad will also take on Austria in their final Nations League game on Sunday, November 18th.

Kyle Lafferty has been named apart of O’Neill’s latest squad, who had to apologise after missing out on his side’s Nations League double header last month.


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The Rangers striker, who has scored 20 goals for his country, apologised for ‘an error of judgement’, when he pulled out of the national squad just a day before the squad met up for matches against Austria and Bosnia.

Michael O'Neill wearing a suit and tie: Kyle Lafferty return © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Kyle Lafferty return

The confusion resulted in IFA blocking the veteran striker from playing in Rangers’ match against Hamilton, as he broke the ‘five day rule’ having failed to give proper notice for his absence.

‘I spoke to Kyle on the phone and in person in Glasgow,’ said O’Neill, who named the striker as part of a 28-man squad. ‘I also spoke to Steven Gerrard.

‘It’s good to have him back in. He has an injury concern, so his availability is contingent on how he comes through the weekend.’

Lafferty will be looking to net his first goal for his country in over two years, as he has been suffering a drought going back to November 2016.

Kyle Lafferty holding a football ball © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Here’s the squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Michael McGovern (Norwich City), Trevor Carson (Motherwell), Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Leeds United), Conor Hazard (Celtic).

Defenders: Aaron Hughes (Hearts), Gareth McAuley (Rangers), Jonathan Evans (Leicester City), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Conor McLaughlin (Millwall), Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough), Jamal Lewis (Norwich City), Michael Smith (Hearts), Tom Flanagan (Sunderland).

Midfielders: Steven Davis (Southampton), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers), Shane Ferguson (Millwall), Stuart Dallas (Leeds United), George Saville (Middlesbrough, loan), Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock), Gavin Whyte (Oxford United), Jordan Thompson (Blackpool).

Forwards: Kyle Lafferty (Rangers), Josh Magennis (Bolton Wanderers), Jamie Ward (Charlton Athletic), Liam Boyce (Burton Albion), Paul Smyth (QPR), Kyle Vassell (Rotherham United).

a man wearing a suit and tie: Martin O'Neill and Michael O'Neill 9/12/2015

Martin O'Neill and Michael O'Neill 9/12/2015
© Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

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