Josh Carson to make N Ireland debut against Republic

Nations Cup, Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland

Venue:
Aviva Stadium
Date:
24 May
Kick-off:
1945 BST
Coverage:
Live on Radio Ulster MW, highlights on BBC TWO NI 2320

Ipswich Town winger Josh Carson will win his first cap for Northern Ireland in Tuesday night's Carling Nations Cup game against the Republic of Ireland.

Carson has been named in manager Nigel Worthington's starting line-up for the match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Alan Blayney will play in goals, with Adam Thompson, Lee Hodson, Craig Cathcart and Gareth McAuley in defence.

Sammy Clingan, Steve Davis and Jonny Gorman play in midfield, with Warren Feeney and Josh McQuoid up front.

Blayney is preferred to Jonathan Tuffey between the posts.

Ryan McGivern pulled out of the squad for the games against the Republic of Ireland and Wales on Sunday.

The Manchester City full-back has a groin injury and Oldham Athletic's Carl Winchester received a first senior call-up as his replacement.

Oldham teenager Winchester is the fourth new face in the senior squad after Stuart Dallas, Jordan Owens and Carson got their first call-ups on Tuesday.

Northern Ireland take on the Republic on Tuesday night at the Aviva Stadium with Wales their opponents three days later.

A host of players are injured or unavailable for the fixtures.

Worthington acknowledged that the timing of the two end-of-season fixtures was "very awkward".

"The Republic have got qualifying games so they will have pretty much all their big players around the squad," added the Northern Ireland boss.

"Wales have been hit quite badly, as have ourselves. I don't know Scotland's situation at the moment.

"We've got players who have played 50-odd games in the season and need a rest, players who are getting married, one or two who have injuries at the end of the season.

"But as long as all the big boys are fit and raring to go come the start of August, that's when I want them all back."

Lack of numbers means the eligibility row has surfaced again, with a Fifa ruling allowing Northern Ireland-born players to opt for the Republic, and youngsters Daniel Devine and Shane Ferguson looking likely to switch allegiance.

Worthington said: "The situation hasn't changed. The door is open at this moment in time until such time as it changes.

"Personally, I want players to represent Northern Ireland, not another country, and that's the Republic, England, Scotland, Wales, wherever.

Northern Ireland team: Blayney, Thompson, Hodson, Cathcart, McAuley, Clingan, Davis, Carson, Gorman, Feeney, McQuoid

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