Republic of Ireland to take on Northern Ireland in Dublin friendly

Image: Aviva Stadium to host June 4 training game

The Republic of Ireland will face Northern Ireland in a behind-closed-doors training match at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on June 4, the Irish FA has announced.

For Northern Ireland, the game comes four days after the international friendly against Qatar in Crewe and nine days before their European Qualifier against Romania.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill said: “It was important for us to get a quality game before the qualifier against Romania at home on June 13 and this game provides the perfect scenario on the back of the Qatar friendly.

“Having the game behind closed doors will allow both myself and Martin flexibility which we wouldn’t have under normal international circumstances and it will also help greatly in terms of our preparations for the important qualifier against Romania the following weekend.”

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill believes the match is an opportunity to give some of his players much needed game-time ahead of their own European Qualifier against Scotland.

He said: “With the season ending early for a lot of our players, Michael and I discussed it and see this as a mutually beneficial exercise for both sides.

"Holding the match behind closed doors will give us the flexibility to make any changes we see fit ahead of the European Qualifiers on June 13.

"The Championship season ends on May 2, and if players are not involved in promotion relegation play-offs, that could be over a month without any games.

"It represents an ideal opportunity to build the intensity of our preparations, leading into the England friendly, and before the important qualifier against Scotland."

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