Belfast Telegraph

Lewis fit and ready to take on the Dutch

 

Jamal Lewis
Jamal Lewis

By Graham Luney

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has been handed a double boost from Norwich City ahead of this week's crunch Euro 2020 qualifier away to the Netherlands.

O'Neill's men face the Dutch on Thursday in Rotterdam with the odds stacked against them but there is positive news on the injury front.

Left-back Jamal Lewis has shaken off an elbow injury and came through the Canaries' 5-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa on Saturday.

And 35-year-old goalkeeper Michael McGovern made his first ever Premier League start and first league start since April 2017.

Lewis suffered an injury in a defeat to Crystal Palace and it had been feared a potential broken elbow would lead to a prolonged period on the sidelines.

But the 21-year-old featured at Carrow Road, where Norwich suffered their biggest home defeat in the Premier League since April 2012 when they lost 6-1 against Manchester City.

McGovern, one of Northern Ireland's heroes of Euro 2016, made a number of stops and also became the seventh goalkeeper to save a penalty on their first ever Premier League start, and the first since Neil Etheridge for Cardiff against Bournemouth last season.

Northern Ireland still have to face the Dutch twice. Ronald Koeman's side are three points behind Northern Ireland in Group C and have a game in hand.

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