Republic of Ireland take on New Zealand in an international friendly on Thursday before hosting Denmark in next week’s vital Euro 2020 qualifier.
Mick McCarthy has already signalled his intent to trial some of the nation’s younger players later this week, many of whom will be hoping to convince the Republic’s manager of fielding them for Monday’s crunch qualifier.
New Zealand coach Danny Hay will be looking to ruffle a few feathers when his side make the near-19,000 km journey to Dublin later this week, with a bout against Lithuania following on Sunday.
Read on for Republic of Ireland vs New Zealand preview, predictions team news, TV info and more
When is Republic of Ireland vs New Zealand and where can I watch live?
Competition: International friendly
Venue: Aviva Stadium
Date: Thursday, 14 November 2019
Kick-off: 7:45 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Football
Ones to watch
Republic of Ireland: Troy Parrott
McCarthy has been true to his word, naming a number of the nation’s younger players in the starting line-up, inclduing 17-year-old Tottenham Hotspur forward, Troy Parrott.
The talented teenager has already featured for Spurs this season in the Carabao Cup and is much regarded in north London. He has been earmarked as a future Ireland star and could begin that highly-anticipated journey early against the Kiwis.
The Green Army will be hoping he can follow in the footsteps of Robbie Keane, the nation’s most capped player and a former Spurs striker himself.
Key stat: Parrott came on as a second-half substitute in Spurs’ Carabao Cup defeat to Colchester, but went on to register more shots than any other player on the pitch (four).
New Zealand: Winston Reid
The West Ham defender has seen his career plagued by a serious knee injury across the past few seasons, but he is now back in contention for New Zealand having not featured for his homeland since 2017.
In fact, Reid’s last appearance for the Hammers came back in March 2018, with the 31-year-old yet to feature under Manuel Pellegrini. Those of a claret and blue persuasion will be hoping he gets through this fixture unscathed and can return to east London to help out with the club’s recent drop in form.
Key stat: Reid has been sidelined for over 600 days with a serious knee injury picked up in March last year.
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland took the unusual decision of naming their starting XI ahead of the matchday. As expected, the likes of Lee O’Connor, Derrick Williams and Troy Parrott all get the nod, though McCarthy has stressed most of these players won’t feature against Denmark.
2 International debuts!
2 First-time starters!
Here is your Ireland team for tomorrow's @ThreeIreland International Friendly against New Zealand
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) November 13, 2019
Predicted XI: O’Hara; O’Connor, Long, Clark, Williams; Cullen, Byrne, Browne; Brady, Parrott, Maguire.
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As previously touched upon, Winston Reid has finally returned to the international set-up with New Zealand having just recovered from a serious knee injury.
Elsewhere, Chris Wood remains a prominent figure for the nation, while Bayern Munich whizkid Sarpreet Singh is also in the squad.
Predicted XI: Marinovic; Roux, Reid, Boxall, Cacace; Payne, McGlinchey, Thomas, Singh, Rojas; Wood.
This contest certainly provides an interesting proposition. The Republic look set to experiment with their line-up, which could ultimately prove their downfall, while New Zealand haven’t played an international match for 525 days. Although McCarthy may have one eye set on Monday’s meeting with Denmark, his side should have enough in the locker to edge this contest, especially in front of a passionate Dublin crowd.
Scoreline prediction: Republic of Ireland 1-0 New Zealand