Robbie Brady returns to Republic of Ireland side
Darragh Lenihan named in defence for Northern Ireland encounter
Robbie Brady returns to the Republic of Ireland side for the friendly international against Northern Ireland at the Aviva stadium. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Robbie Brady makes his long awaited return to international action on Thursday night after the Burnley winger was named by Martin O’Neill for the friendly international against Northern Ireland at the Aviva stadium (7.45pm).
Brady will play for the first time in a year at international level after returning from a serious knee injury.
Brady was included along with Séamus Coleman, who had missed the last three games with a stress fracture of the foot.
Blackburn Rovers defender Darragh Lenihan is named as one of three centre backs in a five-man defence, with James McClean playing as a left-sided wing back.
Glenn Whelan captains the side from midfield on his 85th international appearance, alongside Jeff Hendrick, with Brady at left wing and Callum O’Dowda playing wide on the right. The in-form Callum Robinson will play up front.
Michael O’Neill hands a first start to Oxford United’s Gavin Whyte as part of a front three with Burton’s Liam Boyce and Leeds United’s Stuart Dallas.
Southampton midfielder Steven Davis captains the side on his 100th international appearance.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Darren Randolph; Séamus Coleman, Darragh Lenihan, Shane Duffy, John Egan, James McClean; Callum O’Dowda, Jeff Hendrick, Glenn Whelan (capt), Robbie Brady; Callum Robinson.
NORTHERN IRELAND: Bailey Peacock-Farrell; Michael Smith, Craig Cathcart, Jonny Evans, Jamal Lewis; Corry Evans, Steven Davis (capt), George Saville; Gavin Whyte, Liam Boyce, Stuart Dallas.