O'Neill names squad to face Azerbaijan

Published Monday, 05 November 2012
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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has named his 24-man squad for next week's World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan at Windsor Park.

O'Neill names squad to face Azerbaijan
Chris Brunt in action for Northern Ireland. (© Pacemaker)

After missing the team's heroic draw with Portugal in October, Chris Brunt, Shane Ferguson, Grant McCann, Gareth McAuley and Jamie Ward all return to the panel for the game on 14 November.

Northern Ireland occupies fourth position in Group F, just a point above opponents Azerbaijan, with both sides having a game in hand over the other sides in the group.

In their three games so far, Northern Ireland have suffered defeat at the hands of leaders Russia in their opening fixture, before contrasting emotions in two subsequent 1-1 draws, at home to minnows Luxembourg, and an impressive 1-1 result in Porto against the world's third ranked side.

The goalscorer in that game, Aberdeen winger Niall McGinn, has been named in the squad while the only uncapped player is Hull City defender Alex Bruce.

Bruce has switched international allegiance from the Republic of Ireland. He had been called up to Michael O'Neill's last squad, but withdrew because of a groin injury.

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan will be played on Wednesday 14 November at Windsor Park. Kickoff is at 7.45pm.

Northern Ireland squad:

Roy Carroll, Alan Mannus, Michael McGovern, Aaron Hughes, Ryan McGivern, Jonathan Evans, Craig Cathcart, Gareth McAuley, Alex Bruce, Chris Baird, Steven Davis, Oliver Norwood, Corry Evans, Niall McGinn, Pat McCourt, Chris Brunt, Shane Ferguson, Grant McCann, David Healy, Dean Shiels, Kyle Lafferty, Will Grigg, Jamie Ward, Andrew Little.

© UTV News
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