Republic of Ireland to take on Northern Ireland in November friendly
Martin O’Neill’s side will also play friendly in Poland in September
Robbie Keane scores his second goal from the penalty spot in the friendly international against Northern Ireland in May 2011. The teams will meet again at the Aviva Stadium in November. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland side will face Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland in a friendly international at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday November 15th.
The FAI also announced a friendly away to Poland on Tuesday, September 11th, while there will also be a home friendly in June, with the opposition to be announced later this week.
The November game will act as a warm-up ahead of the final Nations League matches in November, with Northern Ireland playing Austria in Belfast on the following Sunday and the Republic taking on Denmark away on Monday, November 19th.
It will be a first meeting between the sides since May 2011, when the Republic of Ireland won 5-0 at the Aviva Stadium, with Robbie Keane scoring two. It will also be a first meeting of their respective managers.
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 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 Euro 2020 is our number one priority now and with the Nations League a potential route to the tournament, this game means that we will be as prepared as possible for the Austria match.”