Northern Ireland to face Suarez and co

Published Wednesday, 05 February 2014
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Northern Ireland have been lined up to face Uruguay as part of the South American side's warm-up for the World Cup.

Northern Ireland to face Suarez and co
Suarez will line up against Northern Ireland in a World Cup warm-up match. (© Getty)

Michael O'Neill's side will face the likes of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and Paris Saint Germain player Edinson Cavani in the tie in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo on 30 May.

Uruguay meet Roy Hodgson's England on 19 June in Sao Paulo, with games against Italy and Costa Rica also in their group.

With so many of O'Neill's side based in Britain, they are likely to be seen as a good indicator of how England might play, albeit the Green and White Army are significantly lower down the FIFA rankings.

A statement on the Uruguayan Football Association website read: "The third and final opponent of the Uruguayan national team for their pre-World Cup preparation is confirmed.

"To the already fixed matches against Austria and Slovenia, it was determined that Northern Ireland will be the rival of Uruguay on 30 May."

It will be a difficult challenge, but a great one for both the team and for me as a manager.

Manager Michael O'Neill

Controversial Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been in scintillating form for Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.

He is the English Premier League's top goal scorer with 23 goals in 18 appearances so far this season.

Northern Ireland last met Uruguay in New Jersey in 2006, during current manager Oscar Tabarez's first match in charge.

The IFA says it is hopeful of "arranging another friendly game in South America against a FIFA World Cup finals participant".

The trip will be the final chance for manager Michael O'Neill to play preparation games before the start of the Euro 2016 qualification campaign in September.

O'Neill said: "This will be a good opportunity for the team to play against top class opposition. It will be a great experience for the players and also a chance for them to play in South America - something which doesn't very often happen in a player's career."

Irish FA President Jim Shaw said: "There is no friendly date in August this year, so the Uruguay friendly will be an important game looking ahead to the European qualifiers."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Rab in Buckfast wrote (352 days ago):
Lower down the rankings?ask england does that matter!
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