Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wales vs Northern Ireland - Competition: Friendly
Date: 24 March 2016Time: 19:45 GMT
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium

Wales team was very impressive in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, losing only once and finishing second to the world's top-ranked team, Belgium. The Welsh attack wasn't so prolific with just 11 goals scored in their 10 games but their defence was very tight with just four goals conceded. They fell to a 3-2 defeat at home against Netherlands in their first warm-up match since qualifying for Euro 2016.
Welsh boss Chris Coleman is without his two star men in Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey while Ben Davies, and James Collins are all among the other absentees. Southampton reserve Lloyd Isgrove and Championship players Jazz Richards and Cotterill are among the call-ups. Hal Robson-Kanu, Andy King, Paul Dummett and Dave Edwards are also unavailable while Andy King may miss due to illness.
Northern Ireland topped a tricky qualification group that included Romania, Greece and Hungary to qualify for their first major tournament since 1982. They also proved hard to beat in qualifying, losing only in Romania and conceding only eight times. The Irish have beaten Latvia 1-0 in their first warm-up match and stretched their unbeaten run to 7 matches, 4 wins and 3 draws.
Northern Ireland will also be without a key man as a knee injury ruled Chris Brunt out of the finals. Daniel Lafferty, on loan at Oldham Athletic from Burnley, is among those aiming to press his case in Brunt's absence. The likes of Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley and Craig Cathcart will start in defense. Furthermore, manager Michael O'Neill may hand international debuts to Peterborough United defender Smith and QPR striker Conor Washington.
Northern Ireland were beaten 2-0 by Wales the last time the sides met in May 2011. This also means that Wales are unbeaten in the last 6 direct encounters. The Welsh team kept seven clean sheets (from 10 matches) in Euro 2016 qualification and their last six home matches have seen under 2.5 goals.

Probable lineups
Wales: Hennessey – Gunter, A. Williams, Chester, N. Taylor – Vaughan, Ledley, Allen, J. Williams – Robson-Kanu, Vokes.
Northern Ireland: McGovern – McNair, McAuley, Cathcart, D. Lafferty – Norwood, St. Davis, Dallas, J. Ward – K. Lafferty, Magennis.

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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