Republic of Ireland to play Northern Ireland in Dublin friendly this November
The Republic of Ireland is set to take on Northern Ireland in a friendly match on Thursday, November 15th this year at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
It will be the first time Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and Northern Ireland counterpart Michael O’Neill will face off as international managers, almost seven and a half years since the teams went head-to-head at the Aviva back in 2011.
The friendly takes place on a UEFA Nations League game day, however, both teams do not have competitive fixtures on this date. Instead, they will use this match as practise for the Republics face off with Denmark and Northern Ireland playing against Austria 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.”