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Republic and Northern Ireland set up November friendly

O’Neills to go head-to-head in Dublin friendly.

Michael O’Neill File Photo
Michael O’Neill File Photo

The Republic of Ireland will meet neighbours Northern Ireland in a friendly match in November this year.

Republic boss Martin O’Neill and Northern Ireland counterpart Michael O’Neill will go head-to-head for the first time as international managers, almost seven and a half years since the teams last clashed in a senior fixture at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday, November 15.

Neither nation has a competitive fixture on that day and they will use the game as preparation for their UEFA Nations League games against Denmark and Austria respectively a few days later.

Michael O’Neill said: “UEFA have made it mandatory that we play a friendly on that date and when we looked at the options across Europe, travelling to Dublin to play the Republic of Ireland made a lot of sense.

“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.

“From a personal point of view, I am looking forward to managing a team against Martin, a manager who I hugely respect and admire.

“Qualification for UEFA EURO 2020 is our number one priority now and with the UEFA Nations League a potential route to the tournament, this game means that we will be as prepared as possible for the Austria match.”

The sides last faced each other in Dublin in May 2011, when a double from Robbie Keane helped to secure a 5-0 Carling Nations Cup win for the Republic.

Meanwhile, the Football Association of Ireland has announced the Republic will also travel to Poland for a friendly on September 11 and will play a home fixture in June against opposition yet to be confirmed.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph