Belfast Telegraph

NI will play host to Luxembourg in 2019 friendly

 

Main man: NI captain Steven Davis is set to take on Luxembourg in 2019
Main man: NI captain Steven Davis is set to take on Luxembourg in 2019
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Northern Ireland will warm up for their Euro 2020 qualifier with Germany by facing Luxembourg in a friendly at Windsor Park next September.

The game will be played on Thursday, September 5 with a 7.45pm kick-off, before Michael O'Neill's men face Germany in the qualifier on Monday, September 9.

It will be the first meeting between the sides since the Luxembourg caused a huge shock by defeating Northern Ireland 3-2 at the Stade Josy Barthel in a World Cup qualifier in 2013, which was their first home victory in the competition in over 40 years.

At the same time, Germany will host the Netherlands in the group's heavyweight clash, a game that will be of great interest to the Green and White Army.

European minnows Luxembourg have steadily improved over the last few years and picked up two of their most impressive results in 2017 when they drew with France in Toulouse before defeating Hungary.

In their recent Nations League campaign, which saw them placed in League D, they finished second in a group containing winners Belarus, Moldova and San Marino.

They've also been placed in a tough European qualifying group alongside defending champions Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia and Lithuania.

Defensively they have become a much stronger unit under manager Luc Holtz, who had made it a priority to tighten up a leaky back four when he took over.

Captain Laurent Jans plays for Metz in France, while Christopher Martins is a regular in Troyes' defence and Maxine Chanot plays for New York City.

At the other end, their main goal-getter is striker Aurelien Joachim, who plays for Belgian second division side Vitron.

While Northern Ireland should be too strong for their lower-ranked opponents, who are currently 86th, they will be keen to cause an upset in Belfast.

Tickets for the game will go on sale next summer, while Northern Ireland have also revealed they will have a friendly on or around October 13 against a yet-to-be-named opponent.

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